SAL­FORD DIO­CESE

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Si­mon Smith, Di­rec­tor of Ed­u­ca­tion

ED­U­CA­TION Sun­day is a day of cel­e­bra­tion for all those in­volved with ed­u­ca­tion.

For more than a hun­dred years, it has been an ec­u­meni­cal cel­e­bra­tion in which the Catholic Church par­tic­i­pates.

We cel­e­brated it last Sun­day.

The Catholic Ed­u­ca­tion Ser­vice’s theme for this year is ‘Be Opened’ – ‘Eph­phatha’.

Be­ing open to any­thing of course is eas­ier said than done, how­ever, there is a rich­ness in our Catholic schools that is rarely matched, be that diver­sity, eth­nic­ity, faith or cul­ture. In a world which in­creas­ingly finds mi­gra­tion brought on in places of war, eco­nomic hard­ship or famine, our Catholic schools are a place of sanc­tu­ary for the young.

The ‘iden­tity’ of our schools are set out in our pur­pose and val­ues. They de­fine all who ● learn, wor­ship and work there: Tol­er­ance, for­give­ness and fair­ness; their hu­man­ity, hu­mil­ity and open­ness; and the re­li­gious back­ground, cul­ture and am­bi­tion of the com­mu­nity of young peo­ple and adults.

The ‘di­rec­tion’ our schools take is the di­rec­tion our young peo­ple need to take in or­der to be fully rounded in­di­vid­u­als who may con­trib­ute pos­i­tively to so­ci­ety, their par­ish and their fam­ily.

We live in an age where the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of look­ing af­ter each other and our com­mu­nity falls more to the third sec­tor and less to the state.

As ed­u­ca­tors our re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure the needy and the vul­ner­a­ble re­ceive just as high qual­ity an ed­u­ca­tion as the ma­jor­ity be­comes in­creas­ingly ur­gent.

But it has al­ways been like that in our schools.

Catholic so­cial ac­tion put in to prac­tice in our schools helps to en­sure we set out in the right di­rec­tion and that no pupil is left be­hind.

Our schools’ ‘out­look’ on life, in the words of Pope Fran­cis, is to en­cour­age us to ‘reach for the stars’.

Where else but through ed­u­ca­tion would the stars be made eas­ier to reach?

This is the out­look from the per­spec­tive of Catholic ed­u­ca­tion that as­pires dig­nity for every­one, the right place for every­one and a com­mu­nity at the ser­vice of every­one.

This is Catholic ed­u­ca­tion in ac­tion.

A gath­er­ing of our schools

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