Evangelization—Center for Catholic Education—Aquinas College


Note: The following quotations focus on the topic of Evangelization as it is contained in the documents of the Church which consider education. The following conditions and recommendations apply:

  • The purpose of this selection is to give a sample of the topic. It is not intended to replace the reading of the entire document(s) cited.
  • In-text citations are not included in this document. The document can be accessed in its entirety for this purpose. The paragraph numbers give the exact location of the quotation within the pertinent document.
  • In a few instances spelling has been changed to reflect common usage and for the purpose of clarity. (“program” instead of “programme,” for example).
  • The sections included are only examples and are not necessarily the only references on this topic contained in the document(s).

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The Catholic School, #7

Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977. 

Evangelization is, therefore, the mission of the Church; that is she must proclaim the good news of salvation to all, generate new creatures in Christ through Baptism, and train them to live knowingly as children of God.

The Catholic School, #8

Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977. 

To carry out her saving mission, the Church uses, above all, the means which Jesus Christ has given her. She also uses other means which at different times and in different cultures have proved effective in achieving and, promoting the development of the human person. The Church adapts these means to the changing conditions and emerging needs of mankind. In her encounter with differing cultures and with man’s progressive achievements, the Church proclaims the faith and reveals “to all ages the transcendent goal which alone gives life its full meaning”. She establishes her own schools because she considers them as a privileged means of promoting the formation of the whole man, since the school is a centre in which a specific concept of the world, of man, and of history is developed and conveyed.

The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School: Guidelines for Reflection and Renewal, #66

Congregation for Catholic Education, 1988.

The mission of the Church is to evangelize, for the interior transformation and the renewal of humanity. For young people, the school is one of the ways for this evangelization to take place.

The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School: Guidelines for Reflection and Renewal, #101

In addition, careful attention must be given to the development of general criteria which will enable each aspect of school activity to assist in the attainment of the educational objective, so that the cultural, pedagogical, social, civil and political aspects of school life are all integrated: a) Fidelity to the Gospel as proclaimed by the Church. The activity of a Catholic school is, above all else, an activity that shares in the evangelizing mission of the Church; it is a part of the particular local Church of the country in which it is situated, and shares in the life and work of the local Christian community.

General Directory for Catechesis, #73

Congregation of the Clergy, 1997

What confers on religious instruction in schools its proper evangelizing character is the fact that it is called to penetrate a particular area of culture and to relate with other areas of knowledge. As an original form of the ministry of the word, it makes present the Gospel in a personal process of cultural, systematic and critical assimilation.

The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, #5

Congregation for Catholic Education, 1997.

First and foremost, we must recognize the contribution it makes to the evangelizing mission of the Church throughout the world, including those areas in which no other form of pastoral work is possible. Moreover, in spite of numerous obstacles, the Catholic school has continued to share responsibility for the social and cultural development of the different communities and peoples to which it belongs,

The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, #11

Congregation for Catholic Education, 1997.

The complexity of the modern world makes it all the more necessary to increase awareness of the ecclesial identity of the Catholic school. It is from its Catholic identity that the school derives its original characteristics and its “structure” as a genuine instrument of the Church, a place of real and specific pastoral ministry. The Catholic school participates in the evangelizing mission of the Church and is the privileged environment in which Christian education is carried out. In this way “Catholic schools are at once places of evangelization, of complete formation, of enculturation, of apprenticeship in a lively dialogue between young people of different religions and social backgrounds”.

Consecrated Person and their Mission in Schools: Reflections and Guidelines, #29.

Congregation for Catholic Education, 2003.

A profile of consecrated persons clearly shows how their educational commitment in schools is suited to the nature of the consecrated life. In fact “thanks to their experience of the particular gifts of the Spirit, their careful listening to the Word, their constant practice of discernment and their rich heritage of pedagogical traditions amassed since the establishment of their Institutes…consecrated persons give life to educational undertakings”in the educational field. This requires hand the promotion within the consecrated life, on the one, of a “renewed cultural commitment which seeks to raise the level of personal preparation, and on the other of a constant conversion to follow Jesus, the way, the truth and the life (cf. Jn 14:6). It is an uncomfortable and tiring road that does however make it possible to take up the challenges of the present time and undertake the educational mission entrusted to the Church. While aware that it cannot be exhaustive, the Congregation for Catholic Education, intends pausing to consider just some elements of this mission. In particular it wishes to reflect on three specific contributions of the presence of consecrated persons to scholastic education: first of all the link of education to evangelization; then formation to “vertical” relationism, that is to the opening to God and lastly formation to “horizontal” relationism, that is to say to welcoming the other and to living together.

The Joy of the Gospel, #134

Pope Francis, 2014.

Universities are outstanding environments for articulating and developing this evangelizing commitment in an interdisciplinary and integrated way. Catholic schools, which always strive to join their work of education with the explicit proclamation of the Gospel, are a most valuable resource for the evangelization of culture, even in those countries and cities where hostile situations challenge us to greater creativity in our search for suitable methods

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