Catholic Education – Professional Skills and The Holy Spirit

In today’s episode I share a great quote that reminds of the need to find  balance between professional skills, programs and initiatives and dependence upon the Holy Spirit. In recent decades there has been a strong focus on ‘professionalising’ Catholic education. This has an important place but we also need to always remind ourselves of the need to keep the Holy Spirit at the centre of it all.

Balancing Human Skills And Divine Providence

Well, hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you once again for The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Welcome aboard. If you’re a new listener, great to have you with us. If you’re listening regularly, thank you so much for the privilege of your time. I hope you listen maybe in the car on the way to work, just having that time each day to get a little bit of encouragement. I always like how the Holy Spirit is often referred to as the encourager, the one that encourages us, that gives us strength to keep going when we’re tired. I want to partner with the Holy Spirit and just encourage you.

Listen, couple of quick things. First, for my American listeners, please have a think about joining me. I want you to come to a very intimate event. It’s just me and 10,000 friends in Baltimore in April. I’m going to be doing the keynote for the second time at the NCA convention. I’ll be talking about this for the next few weeks, but I really want you to think about coming. All right. It is an amazing event. 10,000 Catholic teachers. For my Australian listeners or British listeners or ever else you are in the world, I’d love you to have a think about getting sponsorship and coming along. It is a very special event. To find out more, just go to Really simple.

I’m praying now for inspiration and guidance about what message the Holy Spirit wants to bring. Notice I said not what message I want to bring. My job as a speaker is to really try and let the Holy Spirit show up and get it out of the way. I think that’s one of the most important things about all our vocations is that we want the Holy Spirit to move through us because today the readings for daily mass from the Book of Wisdom, and it’s talking all about wisdom. It refers to wisdom as a pure emanation of God, a pure emanation of God. We need wisdom, don’t we? In our schools, in our decision making, in our leadership and our planning, we need wisdom. Keep trying to tell people like, human wisdom we can do reasonable stuff, but imagine what we can do through that incredible grace of the Holy Spirit.

Now listen, I want to share something with you. This is a really cool quote from John F. MacArthur Jr. I really like this. Listen to this quote. “When programs, methods and money produce impressive results, there is an inclination to confuse human success with divine blessing.” Now listen to this next part. “Christians can actually behave like practical humanists living as if God were not necessary. When that happens, passionate longing for God and yearning for his help will be missing along with his empowerment.”

I think there’s a lot in that, isn’t there? It’s basically saying that sometimes when we have a fancy program or a new system, when we get a bit of success, we start to think that it’s these human systems that are really creating all the results and I want to keep saying there’s a place for that. You see, there’s a place for us to be very professional in Catholic education. There really is. We should be highly professional. We should value our skills and develop them and go to courses and keep learning and growing. We should be so proud of that, but bigger and before all of that is the fact that we’re dependent, that it’s the presence of God that really needs to animate a great Catholic school.

I want you to trust me. I’ve been traveling the world now speaking to hundreds of thousands of Catholic teachers for almost two decades, and the greatest schools I see are simply schools that build beautiful Catholic communities. Simply how? By the majority of the staff pressing into God and becoming saints, seriously. Because once the Holy Spirit moves through a group of people, amazing things happen. Go back to Acts The Apostles second chapter. What do we see there? We see the Holy Spirit fall on a bunch of not very spectacular people and the world changes.

We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We just got to look at the Book of Acts and go, okay, here are these people. They had some very basic skills. The next thing we know, they’re out there doing amazing stuff because the Spirit’s moving through them. Let’s get this balance right in Catholic education, the balance between professional skills and the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us because we don’t want to end up thinking that we’re creating these results. We are to a degree, but only to the degree that we’re really partnering with what God’s trying to do.

All right. That’s it for me today. Let’s press in. Let’s pray. Let’s seek the things of God. Let’s spend time with him each day and allow him to shape us into the teachers that he wants us to be. All right. Housekeeping, pull out your phone. If you’re on Instagram, come and say hi. Find me on jonathandoyle47. Twitter @beingcatholic1 . Okay. Do a search for Jonathan Doyle on Twitter, but come and say hi on Twitter. Send me a DM. Let me know where you are or what topics you’re interested in, and of course, make sure you’ve subscribed to the daily email. Every single day I do a little motivational email. Okay. A little motivational email that just has some great stuff for Catholic teachers and you can find that just by sending me an email to Send me an email and I’ll get you on that list.

The Facebook group, Passionate Catholic Teachers.. Come and find us. Passionate Catholic Teachers on Facebook.. Everything else, friends, it’s all there on the website including how to book me to speak, how to find out about the going deeper programs. So much good stuff there. All right. That’s it for me today.

I’m going to pray for you. Father, thank you for every teacher listening right now. Thank you for the yes, thank you that they said yes. Thank you that you’re going to do more through them than they ever thought was possible. I want to pray for them, Father, that you’re going to give them the grace to open to the Holy Spirit more and more that they’re going to start each day with a prayer to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is just going to move through them. Turn them into saints. God bless you, everybody. In Jesus’ name, be blessed. Thank you for what you do. My name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, and I’ll have another message for you tomorrow.

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One Catholic Teacher exists to inspire, encourage and support Catholic teachers around the world. Each day Jonathan Doyle offers a short dose of formation and encouragement via The Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. Jonathan is also a global speaker and author on all issues related to Catholic Education.