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Archbishop Wilson's challenge for educators

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 Contents - Mar 2004AD2000 March 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Archbishop Wilson's challenge for educators - Michael Gilchrist
Red Mass Homily: Can Lawyers Be Saints? - Bishop Anthony Fisher
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Ad limina 2004: The 'Statement of Conclusions' five years on - Michael Gilchrist
Archaeology: Macquarie University's latest papyrus fragments shed light on early Christianity - Peter Westmore
USA: American bishops critical of their RE texts - Zenit News Service
USA: Pro-abortion politicians put on notice - AD2000
HIV/AIDS: A Catholic approach to AIDS: value-based behaviour change - Sr Miriam Duggan
World AIDS Day: A Cardinal, AIDS and the BBC - Msgr Peter J. Elliott
Virtue ethics: Challenging our contemporary culture's flawed worldview - Hayden Ramsey
Wisdom from the 17th century: an anonymous nun's prayer
Letters: Tabernacle (letter) - Rosemary Chandler
Letters: Human life (letter) - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: Social Justice Statement (letter)
Poetry: TERESA : A tribute to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta - John Meston
Letters: Inspiring (letter) - Fr Joseph Medwin
Letters: Scripture and the Magisterium - John Frey
Letters: Missal (letter) - John Rayner
Events: Albury-Melbourne Life Walk (letter) - George Simpson
Letters: African Rosary and Prayer Book Appeal (letter) - Obour Isaac
Books: John Henry Newman on the pre-eminent place of the Blessed Virgin in Christianity - Leo Madigan (reviewer)
Books: Lord, Have Mercy : The Healing Power of Confession, by Scott Hahn - Paul Russell (reviewer)
Books: Archbishop Fulton Sheen : A Man for All Media, by Gregory Joseph Ladd - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
CD Review: FOLLOW ME : The life of Jesus for children, by Zak Zreikat - Joe Padero (reviewer)
Books: THE HEADLONG TRAFFIC : Poems and Prose 1997 to 2002, by Bruce Dawe - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Music: Reflections for Peace, Joy and Serenity, by Melanie and Christopher Duluk - Paul Russell (reviewer)
Books: AD Books - More new titles for 2004
Reflection: Scholarship, truth and Divine Revelation - Fr John O'Neill

At a time when many Catholic parents - and not a few teachers - seem to have lost sight of the essential purpose of a Catholic school, being concerned more about the secular rather than the moral and spiritual aspects of education, Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide's recent words to a group of teachers and teacher trainees about to enter the Catholic system for the 2004 school year were a timely reminder of the Church's educational priorities.

The Archbishop pointed out that the main focus of a Catholic education was not primarily Year 12 exam success or university entrance. "What we are concerned with is what happens to people when they die," he said. "We want people to be able to develop their relationship with God and with the Church while they're alive and then to be prepared for eternal life".

He added: "I understand why people see the final exam in school as being highly significant but I think we don't do them a service if we get them to think that's the beginning and end of everything".

While it was important to emphasise academic development and other areas of education, there were "other things", e.g., "about the way that people live their human lives, what they do in terms of their relationships in the world and where they find meaning".

Of prime importance for those who attended Catholic schools was learning about "the skills that link them with the Lord" and having the "opportunity to find happiness and peace in the world". A Catholic education needed to be "formed by values that belong to the Catholic Church."

The challenge Archbishop Wilson has presented for Adelaide's Catholic schools and their teachers - and one which is relevant and urgent Australia-wide - is for them to re-examine their priorities, ensuring there is a genuinely Catholic emphasis in the curriculum and that what is taught in the Church's name is based on authentic Catholic values.

  • Michael Gilchrist: Editor (E-mail -

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 2 (March 2004), p. 2

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