The Ontario Bishops have released a Pastoral Letter on Education: Renewing the Promise.
With the release of Renewing the Promise (2018), a pastoral letter in the tradition This Moment of Promise (1988) and Fulfilling the Promise (1993) the Bishops have provided us with a very positive and affirming message. The letter uses the scriptural account of the Road to Emmaus as the basis for their reflection on the mission and vision of Catholic education, celebrating that a true encounter with Jesus can and does take place, each and every day within our Catholic schools. The Bishops encourage all who share responsibility for Catholic education to continue to nurture and strengthen Catholic schools as communities that exemplify, in word and in deed, the Good News of Jesus Christ. – ICE
Recently, the Institute for Catholic Education has released support materials for the implementation of the document:
A Discussion Guide for the Pastoral Letter for facilitating reflection and discussion about the Pastoral Letter.
A Personal Reflection guide that allows you to integrate the messages of the document into your own spiritual journey.
A Placemat (Making Connections: Renewing the Promise and Achieving Excellence in Ontario’s Catholic Schools) that can be used to accompany discussion as well as a PowerPoint file.
Here is a short excerpt from Renewing the Promise:
Teachers and Education Workers:You are powerful witnesses to the presence of Jesusin the lives of our students,and you provide the good soil each school dayfor the roots of faith to grow in our students.Remember that Jesus was a great teacher.In prayer, allow him to inspire youby his example of loving service,and ask him to support you in your chosen vocation.Allow the pattern of the Eucharist to guide youas you serve children and families.Each day provide a welcoming environment as students arrive to school.Listen to their stories,and help them discover the connectionbetween the larger biblical story that forms us as Christians,and their own lived experience.Create inclusive places of learningthat invite and enable each child and young personin your care to grow fullyto be all that God knows and hopes them to be.Model for them the gratitude we havefor all that has been gifted to us through God’s bountiful goodness:the meals we share,the friendships we value,the quality of education we experience in the province of Ontario.At the close of the daysend them home to their familieswith enthusiasm for the opportunities that are present in their lives,and with confidence in their own abilitiesto make this world more loving, and more just,through their good works and witness.Recognize that they return to their families and their communities each dayreflecting the kindness, love and attention they experienced in your care.Strive to keep Jesusat the centre of your school communityand the centre of your lives.Renewing the Promise, page 17