Jean Baptiste Chautard And Saving Catholic Education

In today’s episode I share some powerful insights from Jean Baptiste Chautard who helps us to make the crucial connection between liturgy and the overall health and vitality of every Catholic school. If the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith then its role in the life of a Catholic school has never been more important. Listen in as I share some enthusiasm and motivation for renewing Catholic schools.

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Jonathan Doyle

Jonathan Doyle

Jonathan Doyle is an international speaker, author, businessman and executive coach who has spoken around the world to more than 400,000 people on topics related to personal development, peak performance, leadership, Catholic school evangelisation, relationships and much more.

His recent keynote addresses include the NCEA National Convention in St. Louis Missouri to 10,000 delegates and he is a frequent keynote speaker in the US, Asia and Europe.

He is also the founder of an influential education and media business that delivers training content to hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals around the world on a weekly basis.

Jonathan holds an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Canberra, a Masters Degree in Leadership and Management from the University of Newcastle and has also undertaken post-graduate study in philosophical anthropology.

He is the author of numerous books on relationships and peak performance and each day shares these same ideas with a large global audience via The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle.

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Catholic Daily Nov 9 2020

Well, Hey everybody. Jonathan Doyle with you once again for the Catholic teacher daily podcast. Welcome aboard. New listeners, old listeners. Hope you’re doing okay. Thanks for tuning in. With a little bit of daily inspiration and motivation for arguably. I don’t think it’s very contentious, really the most important work Korea, vocation getting around on this humble little planet that is the vocation.

Of being a Catholic educator, that unique call of God on the lives of amazing men and women, just like you, who are making a genuine difference in the lives of young people every single day. Now today, I want to share with you something from a really interesting book. It’s do you have this happen in your life view?

If you came across a book and you’d sort of been floating around you. Your library or your desk for a long time and yeah. You start reading it again? You think? Why did I stop reading? That was excellent. So I’m gonna share with you something today from a book called the soul of the apostolate and it’s by a religious calls. JeanBaptiste Chautard who was born in 1858. And this book was published in 1946.

For the first time, 1946. So obviously when you publish around that time of history, You’ve got some insight, right? Because so much has been happening. After the end of the second world war you’ve lived through so much, you’ve seen so much. You’ve probably come to experience. What’s really important in life. So this wonderful book, the Soul of the Apostolate by Jean Baptiste Chautard

Todd or short, depending on how fancy you want to get, just as some really beautiful, common sense. Uh, inspiring Catholic wisdom. And often I think one of the great tragedies for Catholic educators is that, uh, as I always say your professional givers, You give and you give and you give, and, uh, if you could take this in the spirit that it’s intended, my observation, speaking to tens of thousands of Catholic teachers in live audiences around the world for two decades.

Is that you may be professional givers, but you are often dear friends, not the most professional of receivers. Uh, you give so much, you’re always giving and what’s crucial. Is that we allow the beauty of the faith, the beauty. Of our Catholic faith, uh, and the Christ who is present in her sacraments to refill these empty Wells.

So that, uh, we have a chance to bring about in whatever small or great way we’re called to do so. The kingdom of God. You know, I love praying the rosary every day, uh, for many reasons. And one of them is just getting to repeat those prayers, our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name and what’s the next most important part. Thy kingdom come.

That everyday is Catholics, especially if we pray and we take it seriously when things like the rosary. We pray for the coming of his kingdom. That’s something of his kingdom will enter into this temporal reality. Do you realize that that what you’re doing is you are bringing the kingdom. You are birthing the kingdom as the Holy spirit births, the presence of Christ in you.

Through baptism and then through the sacraments and through prayer and faith and cooperating with grace. The kingdom of God comes to life in you. And then you bring that kingdom of God to birth in your classroom and in your Catholic school community. And I’ve seen this all over the world. You know, I’ve seen so many schools, I’ve seen, I’ve spoken in schools in tiny rural Outback, mining towns in remote parts of Australia.

I’ve spoken in, you know, the busiest schools in Manhattan and London. And, uh, all across Australia and New Zealand and parts of Asia. So the kingdom of God is coming to birth in a little Catholic classrooms all over the world. When. Great. Good. Well intentioned, Holy men and women like you are doing the small things. Well, so what I want to share with you today is one of the ways that we need to be thinking about how we keep restoring ourselves to bring about this kingdom. So listening, let me read you a little bit here from Jean-Baptiste to shorter.

He’s talking about kind of how the. French Catholic school system had a bit of a head, some clear air after the first world war. But how he felt that it had not really had its impact the church, the Catholic school system, and had a free run, free rein and government support. But hadn’t really brought about a great amount of fruit and here’s how he expresses it. He’s out. So we do the first part of what he.

Thinks has happened. And then I’m going to read you the second part of what he thinks is necessary to change it. So here’s the first part he says. And yet now, after 50 years of freedom of education in France, after this half century that has beheld the birth of works without number. Works for that number. You know, what other programs do you know what I mean? You know what I’m talking about? Don. She programs it’s like.

It’s like we just keep starting new programs anyway, back to John Baptist. Works without number and during which we have had in our hands, the youth of the land, and have enjoyed the almost complete support of the various governments. How is it that in spite of results that appear outwardly to be quite striking, we have been unable to form in our nation, a majority with enough real Christianity in it.

To fight against the coalition of the followers of Satan.
That’s the first part. So he’s curious, he’s gone. We’ve had lots of opportunities like here in my country, we get vast amounts of government funding. So Catholic schools have never been so flushed with cash, but if we can be honest, it’s not as if huge numbers of well-formed passionate disciples of Christ to graduating from our schools. And some people will push back and say, well, it is happening.

Well, yes, it is. There are examples of it and there’s some fantastic schools, but I would be really, I would be. Deluding myself. If I was to say that Catholic education in this country is as effective as the Lord would want it to be. So John back to Jean-Baptiste back here in 1946 is pointing to the same thing.
We’ve had money. We’ve had programs. You’ve had government acceptance and support, but why. Have we not seen a great majority of Christians shaping culture. And as he says, fighting back against the coalition of the followers of Satan and friends, let’s be honest. There are people dedicated to evil. There are systems and beliefs and you know, some Paul is very clear. He talks about principalities and powers. He talks about demonic forces, given geographical control of regions. That is not me doing crazy. Talk in my basement. That is a highly biblical notion.

You look at the book of Daniel, there’s a very famous lawn where the angel is trying to get through to Daniel, but he says I was constrained for 20 days by the Prince of Persia. So this angelic beings says that he was basically in battle and restrained by a demonic force that was in control of a geographic region.
Three interesting stuff. And we’ve lost that language in the faith. We’ve lost that language in our Catholic culture. We think it’s all. Sort of some nice fairy story, but let’s not forget that evil is very, very real and it is sentience. It is self-aware. It is deliberate. It is go back to CS Lewis’s Screwtape letters. So.
Jean-Baptiste is asking us if we’ve had all this. Opportunity. I don’t know. My American listeners don’t have that level of government funding and you guys have struggled and you have strived and done amazing work with often limited resources. So let’s get onto the second part. He’s asking why haven’t we.
Had more impact in success and growth and why hasn’t the kingdom? Come to birth more powerfully. And here is the interesting solution that he comes up with and it relates to something I’ve been trying to save for many, many years. Here it is. He says, drum roll, please. I just did that with my fingers, but you probably can’t hear it not to try and see if I can put that in later. Here it goes.

He says no doubt. The abandonment of the liturgical life and the cessation of its influence upon the faithful have contributed to this impotence. Our spirituality has become narrow, dry, superficial, external, or altogether sentimental. It does not have the penetration and soul stirring power that only the wait for it.

Only the liturgy. The great source of Christian vitality can give. So, what does he say the solution is to bringing the kingdom to birth? Well, he thinks it’s a liturgical solution. Why would he say that? Because the Roman catechism teaches us. And I have said this on thousands of, or hundreds of stages around the world to buy now hundreds of thousands of Catholic teachers, that beautiful line from the catechism that the Eucharist is the source and the summit.
Of the faith. That the Eucharist is the source from which the Catholic faith flows. And it is the highest summit and expression of it because it is the real presence, soul, body, blood, and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. So here’s the point. He’s trying to help us understand that of the liturgical life of the church or the school is bad or non-existent or ugly or superficial or rushed and sentimental and not beautiful.

He said, this will be the cause. Of our lack of breakthrough and influence and power in our vocational life as educators and in the coming to birth of the kingdom of God in our schools, they just sit with that for a second. What does he think the solution is? Liturgical life. Prayer. A deep, rich, internal, spiritual life.

So give you an example. I’ve got three kids and one of my kids’ schools. They have a mass available. And on a Friday and my son and I have been going along to this mass for a very long time. And it’s a wonderful. Opportunity for the school community and full credit to the, um, To the principal and also the deputy principal and a lot of other, you know, key staff.

Are always there. And this is a voluntary Friday morning mass, and it’s really impressive to see them there, but here’s the question. Why isn’t everybody there. You know, Um, I’m not saying we should mandate it on a Friday morning, but I’m making the point that. If the liturgical life is so powerful. Why does so few teachers and often Catholic leaders make it a priority in their schools?

That’s for me, a very, very important question. Because I think we get terribly, terribly busy with so many other things and the pressures and the complexity and the demands are so real and ongoing that we can’t, we convince ourselves we can’t possibly just make time for that. I mean, it’s. It’s a mass. What does the masks going to do? Well, according to Jean Baptiste Chautard pretty much everything.

Pretty much everything. You know, uh, yeah, we just, as a family of, of just my, the, the mass, the central part of a family life. And, uh, I was talking to a friend today about back in the 1980s. John pulled through, wrote a document called D S dominate the day of the Lord. Which I read many years ago, had a big impact on me is that.

That if the Eucharist is the source and summit, then in verse immersing ourself. In that source and summit in that stream and flow. You know, Jesus told us to do this. He didn’t say, do this as an optional idea in case you forget me. He said, do this, do this in memory of me. The member, those words you said, this is my body. He didn’t say this is a representation. So let’s wrap this up.

You want to be an amazing Catholic teacher? Immerse yourself in the liturgical life. Pray. Pray. You know, seek the Lord while he is still to be found. You know, if you’re a principal listening to this, you have got to have a mass once a week at your school, at least go and find a priest, kidnap the priest. I mean, you have to, I mean, try and talk to them first, but if that doesn’t work.

But whatever. And get them to come and. Lead your staff say, Hey, we need to pray. We need to be immersed in the Eucharist. We need to be immersed in forgiveness of each other and forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. We need to be a forgiving healing. You know, welcoming, rich liturgical community of people focused on the Lord, Jesus Christ and focused on making disciples.

Our job is not to make fodder for the massive education college factory economic system. That is a byproduct of a great education. Catholic schools exist to do what to make disciples of Jesus Christ, to support parents in their primary role as educators. And to provide integral human formation. Through a great education that allows people to access.

Great careers and work meaningful work, which has great dignity and usefulness in our culture and society. So the economic factors are important. But they come in a hierarchy of importance. And the most engrossed most important thing is that we become first disciples of Jesus Christ. That he is our Lord and he shapes us. And as we shape and grow and change in relationship with him, then we shape and grow and bring change to the lives of the young people in our care. God bless your friends. I hope there’s something useful in there for you.

Whew. Wow. It’s Sunday here came in the studio and you’re going, Jonathan’s a diarist. Well, I just ducked in for a second because I just wanted to get this to you on Monday, right? He probably listened to listening to this on a Thursday, but anyway, There’s love there’s love in this episode, you can sense it.
So, listen, please make sure you’ve subscribed. If you’re a new listener, what have you listening to Spotify? Apple podcasts, Google just hit subscribe. Uh, please, if you’re not on the daily motivational email list for Catholic education, email me right now, Jonathan, at one Catholic Send me an email

Uh, please, please, please, please, please do this for me. Go to one Catholic Go to the resources page and check out all the great stuff there. Especially the free trial of the going deeper staff formation resource. It’s an amazing resource that you can use in your school to give teachers a deeper formation in their Catholic faith, weekly encouragement, awesome video content.

So please go to one Catholic resources page and. Check out going deeper free trial send this to some people grab this link wherever you’re listening send it to a few teachers in your school bless them encourage them Alright, friends praying for y’all. This has been the Catholic teacher daily podcast. My name’s jonathan doyle and i’m going to 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.