|St. Thomas Aquinas, Patron of Catholic Universities, Colleges and Schools|
The annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week in the U.S. typically serves as an important marketing moment. It's a chance to share the good news about Catholic education, to spread the word about specific schools, and to build the enrollment base for the next year.
But, given Pope Francis' persistent emphasis on the Lord's call to "to go forth" from our comfort zones, perhaps Catholic Schools Week should become an occasion to envision just what the missionary transformation of our educational communities might look like: What would it mean for Catholic schools to be "centers of the New Evangelization," for example? What would it mean for Catholic colleges and universities to be places of intellectual, spiritual and cultural inquiry regarding the True, the Good, and the Beautiful?
Here are three couplets for consideration about Catholic education; they are not the only qualities that ought to set Catholic school communities apart, but they are among the necessary conditions for the possibility of an ongoing missionary transformation: