Catholic Education a 'life changing encounter with Christ'


Director of Schools Greg Whitby and Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP
Director of Schools Greg Whitby with Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP has outlined five key principals of spiritual formation in an address to the school leaders of the Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta.

The Bishop's address was made at a system leadership day at Rosehill Convention Centre on Thursday 27 January, where school leaders from 78 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta and senior staff from the Catholic Education Office focused on how they would enhance and lead spiritual formation within school communities.

"Formation of all involved in Catholic education must be oriented towards enabling and sustaining a life changing encounter with Christ; serve their lifelong growth in knowledge and understanding of the faith; motivate and enable them to live as witnesses to that faith; build up the school as a community of faith and help build up the broader church; and lead to an appreciation of the vocation of teaching as a kind of ‘intellectual charity’," Bishop Anthony said.

Bishop Anthony said that spiritual formation of educators requires leadership; a clear sense of mission of both Catholic education and the new evagelisation; a solid grounding in scripture and tradition; a substantial and challenging version of the faith; and a recognition of the Holy Spirit as the principal formator working through our school communities.

Executive Director of schools, Greg Whitby, said that learning and spiritual formation are interdependent and form the DNA of Catholic schooling.

"In Catholic schooling, formation and good learning and teaching are interdependent," Greg said. "One can’t exist without the other."

"From 2011, we will strenghthen our focus on how we lead formation within our schools, so as to ensure formation is personalised and connected to real world experiences; is characterised by personal witness and fellowship; and engages all staff, students and families within the wider faith community."

School leadership teams will work with their school communities to identify their own school formation goals taking into account the five key principles and the actions outlined in the Bishops of NSW/ACT pastoral letter, Catholic Schools at a Crossroads.

Read Bishop Anthony's Address in full

Visit Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta

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