Defining Success In A Catholic School

 

Defining success in a Catholic school is a challenging task. Last week I was invited to do a live Q and A for the NCEA 2020 Virtual Convention. During that interview I was asked a question about the quest for ‘success’ in  a Catholic school. For me, there were two core components here. In today’s episode let’s take a moment to talk about what we really mean when we talk about success in a Catholic school. How can we be sure that all our efforts are heading in the right direction.

Defining success in a Catholic school is a crucial task and there were two core components here. First how do we define success and second, how do we deal with whole topic of ambition. Are we supposed to be ambitious in a Catholic school? My mother was an Archbishop’s secretary for 25 years and I learned from watching her that human ambition does not necessarily disappear the moment someone chooses a vocation.

First, how do we define success in a Catholic school? For many people what comes to mind is enrolment numbers, tests scores and the general pastoral and community feel of a particular campus. These have their place but did Jesus go to Calvary so that we could keep schools open and send enough people to an Ivy League College. Enrolments and tests scores are an important component of success in a Catholic school but they are not the main event.

So what does define success.

Way back in 1953 lay theologian Frank Sheed put it like this:

frank sheed

Frank Sheed

“The indispensable minimum is the Catholics coming out of our schools should emerge with a tremendous devotion to Christ, our Lord with and awareness of Him and a considerable knowledge of His life and personality, and desire to increase that knowledge; if they have got that they are all right; even if they have got nothing else, they are still all right, they will come to very little harm. But if they have not, all other excellences don’t do them a great deal of good.”

I always liked those words. Why? Because our schools exist to help young people become life-long disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict said that the purpose of evangelisation was not to put people in touch with Jesus, but rather, to put them in communion with Him. There is a big difference between teaching about Jesus as figure of history as opposed to creating environments, experiences and school cultures where people actually develop a relationship with him that lasts for life.

 Integral Formation

A second criteria for success is simply helping each person to fully develop their gifts. This is what the Church documents on Catholic education refer to as ‘integral formation’ It is the development of each human person in their unique abilities within a vision of them as willed into existence by God for a future of hope and purpose.

I will pick up the issue of ambition tomorrow but for now let’s reflect upon these twin pillars of helping our students become disciples and of helping them truly flourish in their gifts. That would lead to a wonderful and vibrant and successful Catholic school.

Author

 

 

Jonathan Doyle

Jonathan Doyle

Jonathan Doyle is a global Catholic speaker, author, executive coach and consultant. He has spoken around the world to more than 400,000 people on topics related to Catholic education, leadership and mission.

New Book Out Now

Make sure you grab a copy of my new book Finishing Strong. Just click the book image on the left and it will take you straight there.

Finishing Strong is a loud and clear call for every young person to make the very best of their final years of school. Based on hundreds of seminars around the world to a huge number of students Jonathan Doyle offers powerful, practical advice that can make a major difference.

Each chapter offers inspiring stories, clear principles and actionable steps for identifying and moving forward in study, life, friendships and each key area of life.

Jonathan also includes journal questions and guided reflections at the end of each chapter to maximise learning and ensure the ideas and principles can be made real, personal and achievable.

If you want to help your child or students make the very best of their final years of high school then it;s time to help them finish strong!

Listen to The Catholic Teacher Podcast On

You Can't Do A Supernatural Task With Only Natural Resources - Sign Up And Never Miss an Episode

Listen to the Latest Catholic Teacher Podcast On

apple podcasts icon
Google podcast icon
spotify icon
rss icon

Latest Podcasts

Catholic Teacher Formation And The Pursuit of Greatness

Catholic Teacher Formation And The Pursuit of Greatness

Catholic Teacher Formation The complexity of modern education means so many Catholic teachers are constantly up-skilling. This is a good thing but sadly the area of deep and consistent faith formation is often overlooked. In this episode I offer some encouragement as...

The Courage To Teach The Full Catholic Faith

The Courage To Teach The Full Catholic Faith

In today's episode I share another great quote from Pope John Paul ii's great document on Catholic education called Catechesi Tradendae. He shares with us the truth that students have a right to learn the fullness of the Catholic faith even if our post-modern world is...

Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Blog

My History

Resources

Our Partners

catholic schools diocese of palm beach
catholic schools center of excellence
community of saints
catholic schools office diocese of lismore
catholic dioceses of arlington

How To Read This Blog

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

What People are Saying About Me!

Jonathan Doyle has worked with parents, teachers and students in schools of my Diocese for five years. He is exceptional in his ability to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ and His Church to each of these different groups and to inflame their faith.

Dr John Graham

Assistant Director, Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Lismore

Jonathan Doyle is our go-to-guy for the latest evidence-based content and pedagogy on Christian education in sexuality and relationships. At a time when young people are immersed in popular (anti-)culture like never before, Choicez Media is working at the coalface with the message of love and responsibility.

Ian Smith

Director Evangelisation and Religious Education, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

Jonathan Doyle is one of the best Catholic communicators in Australia and I strongly recommend his seminars for Catholic educators. It is a unique opportunity for all your staff to deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith and the Church’s mission to the world.

Professor Tracey Rowland

Dean – , Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.

ABOUT

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. 

GET ON THE LIST