The Catholic Church exists to evangelize: to share with the world the healing love of Jesus Christ so that all can come to salvation through His love. Pope Francis is calling everyone in the Church, most especially lay people who live in the world, to live as missionary disciples. He wants us to learn how to make present this love of Christ through our every day activities in the world and especially to bring this love to those on the peripheries who don’t know it.
This is what happens in our Catholic schools. In fact, most Catholic school teachers are lay people who have entered into the vocation of an educator. The gift of Catholic education is made possible through the generous service of teachers who have chosen as their profession the truly indispensable work of forming the next generation of disciples. Through integral human formation, these teachers evangelize our young people, communicating through beauty, truth and goodness what it means to be created in God’s image as sons and daughters of God.
The goal of our endeavor is that through academic excellence, faith formation and service, in an environment rooted in the truth of God’s love and centered on the Eucharist, our Catholic schools equip students to join in the evangelical mission of the Church once they graduate. I am grateful to all Catholic school teachers and the tremendously important impact they have on the lives of the next generation and the future of our society. Their commitment to education rooted in faith transforms the work of an educator into apostolic work — a work that strengthens the body of Christ and prepares young people to know, love and serve God.