Collapse in teacher’s faith is an opportunity

Collapse in teacher’s faith is an opportunity (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

The collapse in belief among teachers in Catholics schools offers a huge opportunity according to the Director for Outreach for Evangelisation and Discipleship with Loyola Press, Julianne Stanz, an Irish woman now living in America.

Commenting on the recent Grace Report that showed that the next generation of Catholic school principals were unlikely to have faith she said:  “I think, you know, there was a warning bell that was sounded maybe 25 years ago around this issue. That warning bell has now become, for some people, a death knell, and it shouldn’t be. I think there’s a huge opportunity to look afresh at Catholic schools in Ireland.

I did read the report, and it’s pretty somber. We have Catholic schools because we have a mission to educate, to uplift the dignity of the human person. And at the center of that is our faith. Now, people want to take faith out of that equation. Then you lose something, I think, that’s very fundamental to us as Catholics, which is the desire to educate all children.

Ms Stanz added that Catholic schools need to keep their identity.  “I know we’re tip toeing around faith and different things here, but Catholic schools are Catholic for a reason. And yes, we have a mission to welcome and educate all, but we have to look at why we’re educating children and meet that challenge today.

So, you know, I think trusts have to really engage with this issue very seriously.