CTS Press Release
Fit for Mission? Schools
Fri, 25 Jan 2008 9:44
New document by Bishop O’Donoghue on Catholic schools’ ethos
and identity – now published by the Catholic Truth Society
“Schools too must examine themselves regarding the mission that they have to carry out in today’s social climate,
marked as it is by an obvious educational crisis. Catholic schools, which have as their primary mission the formation
of students according to an holistic anthropological vision, while at the same time remaining open to all and respecting
the individual identities of each and every person, cannot refrain from proposing their own educational vision,
which is both human and Christian.”
– Pope Benedict XVI, speech to participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation
for Catholic Education, Monday 21 January 2008 (translated from Italian by CTS)
‘The fundamental needs of the human person are the focus of Catholic education – intellectual, physical, emotional,
social, spiritual and eschatological (our eternal destiny). These fundamental needs can only be truly fulfilled
through a rich and living encounter with the deepest truths about God and the human person.’
– Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue, Fit for Mission? Schools, p. 17. (CTS Expanded edition).
When Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue recently published his teaching document for Catholic schools and colleges in his
diocese, explaining their special ethos and identity, it provoked an overwhelmingly positive response from many
Catholics at all levels within the Church, including officials within the Vatican, as well as sparking negative
reactions from opponents of faith schools in the press and Parliament.
The Catholic Truth Society has now prepared, in collaboration with the diocese of Lancaster, an edition of Fit for Mission? Schools for wider distribution to those interested to
read the Bishop’s words on this important subject. This expanded edition draws on recent documents from the Holy
See, including: Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical, Spe Salvi,
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of
Evangelisation and the Congregation for Catholic Education’s Educating Together in Catholic Schools. It will be available from 12th February 2008.
Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster, has written Fit for Mission? Schools to renew the fire of faith in Catholic schools and colleges. To that end, the Bishop offers practical
guidance on how to further develop and deepen an authentic Catholic ethos, through cultivating the integration
of faith as believed, celebrated, lived, and prayed. Bishop Patrick is convinced that the Catechism of the Catholic
Church is the best resource for creating an authentic Catholic ethos in our schools.
Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue is the Bishop of Lancaster, and former Rector of Allen Hall Seminary (1985–90). The Bishop
wrote Fit for Mission? Schools with the advice and expertise
of teachers, parents, clergy, and theologians.
Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue expressed his pleasure on the publication of the CTS Expanded edition of his work, “During this time when many of us are thinking how best to engage in the New Evangelisation
in our schools and colleges, it is clear to me that the role of the Catholic Truth Society is becoming increasingly
important. I am absolutely delighted that the Catholic Truth Society is making Fit
for Mission? Schools widely available to all who would see our schools
become powerhouses of evangelisation.”
“The publication will undoubtedly be a reliable resource for renewing the vitality of Catholic education in today’s
– His Eminence, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic
“The Dicastery has studied the document with great interest and hopes it will become an example
for other Dioceses in the country in their implementation of the General Directory for Catechesis and the Catechism
of the Catholic Church.”
– His Grace, Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, Secretary for the Congregation for Clergy.
“As both a Catholic parent and Roman Catholic school governor, I’m delighted to find such a clear and helpful statement
of the essential principles of Catholic education.”
– Joseph Kelly, Editorial Director, The Universe (Catholic
Version: 5th May 2008