Education is Integral to The Church's Life and Mission

Ever since it received the great commission from Jesus to “make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19,20), the Church has found itself entrusted with the ministry of teaching.

This ministry has faced new challenges throughout history. In Western Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire, the defunct Roman schools were replaced by monasteries not only as centers of evangelization and catechesis, but also of learning in general. It was there centers of Christian culture blossomed into the cathedral schools and universities of the high Middle Ages.

This educational mission has flourished even when transplanted across the sea to mission territory such as America. However, the challenge facing those who work within the Catholic schools today is not merely to “give witness to Christ, the unique Teacher, by their lives as well as their teachings” in their apostolate (Vatican II, Declaration on Christian Education, No. 8). It is to do so in a setting increasingly characterized by aggressive secularism.

Catholic centers of education in the coming millennium must not only find ways to reaffirm their Catholic identities, but must become centers of the “new evangelization” — an evangelization new in “ardor, methods, and expression” (John Paul II, The Church in America, nos. 66, 71).

John Grabowski is associate professor of moral theology at The Catholic University of America

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

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