A message from the Bishops of Scotland
We want you to know how much we appreciate all the work being done to proclaim the joy of the Gospel in family homes, parishes and schools.
We know that it isn’t easy at times to show your faith in the world. Sometimes it can be really challenging and it can take a lot of effort. But Pope Francis has reminded us that our faith in Jesus should be joyful - a source of great happiness, not a cause of embarrassment or anxiety.
He encourages us to recall how, in the Gospels, those who meet Jesus are filled with joy in their hearts because of the love he shows them. The Holy Father assures us that no one is excluded from the joy brought by Jesus and that no one can take this joy from us. He invites us to be “missionary disciples” who follow Jesus and “Spirit-filled evangelisers” who proclaim the Gospel through our lives.
So, our invitation to you during this Catholic Education Week is to consider this question:
How do you show the JOY of knowing Jesus Christ
- in your family, at school, at work, with friends?
Pope Francis begins this important document with these words:
I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”. The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms.
Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost!
Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!
To read the whole text, use this link:
This is Our Faith- Senior Phase
he Catholic Education Commission has developed a Religious Education syllabus for the Senior Phase, building on the syllabus provided in This Is Our Faith for the Broad General Education phase of the curriculum in Catholic schools.
The draft document proposes a number of Experiences and Outcomes, organised under the 8 Strands of Faith described in This Is Our Faith. This draft document is intended to provide for progression from the learning which pupils will experience in the Primary school stages and in S1-S3. The proposed experiences and outcomes are intended to be achievable across S4/5/6 within the provision of 2 hours of formal R.E. per week which all Catholic secondary schools are obliged to provide.
The Holy See is considering this document with a view to granting a Decree of Recognitio, as it did for the original document. In the meantime, those responsible for teaching religious education should find the draft document to be a useful in helping them to review their current provision and to plan for future development.
The Pope Francis FAITH AWARD
The Pope Francis FAITH AWARDwill encourage young people to make and sustain an active commitment to Faith in their everyday lives. Its title stresses the most significant feature of this award - i.e. it’s about Faith, one the ‘theological virtues’ of Faith, Hope and Love which are offered to all as the foundation for living good lives.
The Faith Award will help children in Primary 6 & 7 to realise the meaning and potential of the Gifts and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit which are offered to them for use in daily living. By providing opportunities for Prayer, Reflection and Faith Witness, this award will encourage young people to apply these gifts and to see how they can bear fruit in their homes, schools, parishes and communities. It will help them to understand how their simple, everyday acts of service, inspired by Faith, can transform the world.
The Pope Benedict XVI CARITAS AWARD encourages young people in the final years of secondary school to respond to God’s call of love (“Caritas”) through serving others. It celebrates the faith witness which young people can give within their homes, schools, parishes and local communities.
Inspired by the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI, and dedicated to him, the CARITAS AWARD is an initiative which builds on his conviction that “the young, with their enthusiasm and idealism can offer new hope to the world”. Those who are presented with their awards at the Award Ceremony on Wednesday 3 June 2015 will be able to take pride that they have responded well to the words of the Holy Father:
“Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication.”