Tag Archives: education

Pope speaks with new British Ambassador to the Holy See

Nigel Marcus Baker.jpg

This morning Pope Benedict XVI received the new Ambassador of Great Britain to the Holy See, Nigel Marcus Baker in an audeince where the new ambassador presented his credentials to the Pope.

Ambassador Nigel Marcus Baker, 45, succeeds Francis Campbell who moved after a term of service to the Holy See to another post. The new ambassador has worked with his country’s diplomatic service in Central Europe and in South America; recently he was in Bolivia. Baker has worked in the Private Office of Prince Charles and for two years lived and studied in Italy. He’s married  and has one son.

Today’s address is basically diplo-speak, but there are a few points made by Benedict which are worth thinking about today. I am especially focussing on the Pope’s mention of charity, values, relativism, ecomony, and education. In part, the Pope spoke of the UK stituation of government but what he said has implications in the US:

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Non-discrimination admission policy for schools issued by Boston Archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Boston, under the direction of His Eminence, Seán Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap., issued a new educational policy for its schools which includes a non-discrimination policy and reiterates that Catholic teaching will be taught in the curricula. There’s an openness to the real life situations people face and live each day but there is no compromise in the passing on the Truth to others: care for the whole person and concern for the eternal destiny of souls.

Catholic education: where is it going and why?

The Catholic school system in the US has been in a very desperate shape for years: acute and chronic money problems, lack of good, solidly trained Catholic teachers and administrators, a coherent vision of Catholic education as it interfaces with the charism of the religious order/diocese operating the school, building & grounds in near of repair, low endowments, etc. Then there is the assessment of what is purported to constitute a Catholic school: poor formation in the faith, the arts & humanites and science suffer, good use of current technologies, and engagement with people who do things differently, engagement with the vulnerable and culture of life, etc. Many, many Catholic schools don’t offer the Sacrifice of the Mass on a weekly basis for the students; and very few of them that I am familiar with offer reliable guidance and formation of the faculty and parents. In my book, if the bishop rarely shows up and the pastor visits the school only when there is crisis. then the problem is more acute.

Don’t get me wrong: I am a product of a lot years Catholic education and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love my time in the Catholic schools I attended but I can see the gaping holes in education and experience. I also believe that the Church needs excellent schools and formation programs.

Five exceptions to this critical view may be the five schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport recently named “Blue Ribbon” by the US Dept of Ed. But for these success stories in Catholic Education there are thousands of others pointing to major problems.

Today, there is an article in Time that speaks to a corrective of what is noted above. The dynamic Mr. Ekicsen is asking the right questions and seeking reasonable solutions. The bishop of Patterson made an excellent choice in hiring Eriksen and I pray his project thrives. It will –the saints are behind him. Read about the Eriksen initiative…

I think of a few things that are contributing to a renewal of Catholic eduation in the US: 1) Luigi Giussani’s The Risk of Education; 2) the Ed Conference; 3) UND’s ACE program; and 4) Dwight Longenecker’s booklet The Risk of Faith; 5) Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of reality because I know there are plenty of more good programs/schools out there so please forward the names to me.

Confronting what is being proposed: a viewpoint on real education

This past summer some members of Communion and
Liberation gathered for the second time to discuss important educational
matters at a conference which met in Cambridge, MA. The 2009 theme of the Education Conference was “The Risk of Educating:
The Student-Teacher Relationship.”

“[Msgr. Luigi] Giussani
talks about this need to live this question, “To educate means to propose
something.  But it would mean to
dump something on someone externally, if it were not the proposal of a response
to the question that you live.  If
you don’t live the question, the response you propose is fake
(Chris Bacich, read
more of the Keynote address)

The keynote address was given on July 18, 2009, by
Mr. Christopher Bacich, a master teacher, a public speaker on education, and
the leader of the lay Catholic movement,
Communion and Liberation in the United

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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