As the oldest Catholic school division in the province, we continue to look for ways to promote and enhance Catholicity within our community. With the implementation of a new strategic plan, we had a wonderful opportunity to explore how we are permeating faith. We wanted to ask the question, ‘Based on sound research, what can we do to enhance and promote Catholic Education’.
Our research brought us to Archbishop Michael Miller’s work on the five essential marks of Catholic Education. Using Papal and Vatican documents, Archbishop Miller indicated that like the marks of the Church as proclaimed in the Creed, the five marks identify the principal features of a Catholic School.
Taking the list of 5 identifiable principals (or marks), the Prince Albert Catholic School division team discussed and used student-friendly language to identify the five marks that we will promote in the schools.
The five marks of Catholic Education are:
- Respecting the dignity of all / Respecter la dignité de chacun
- Respecting the dignity of all means we treat all people with kindness and respect because they are made in the image and likeness of God.
- Rejoicing in a God-centered life / Se réjouir dans une vie centrée sur Dieu
- Rejoicing in a God-centered life is one where we embrace the four pillars of the Catechism (Creed, Sacraments, Morality, Prayer).
- Building a sense of community/ Promouvoir un sentiment de communauté
- Promoting a sense of community means we use our words and actions to follow the greatest commandment to love God and each other, which builds community.
- Celebrating our faith in all we do / Célébrer notre foi dans tout ce que nous faisons
- Celebrating our faith in all we do means that we focus daily on how faith is intertwined into our lives.
- Living and modeling gospel values / Vivre les valeurs de l’Évangile
- We emphasize the importance of celebrations and the sacraments and embracing faith actions (ie: acts of kindness, mercy, forgiveness).
To assess our progress, the Prince Albert Catholic teachers are asked to reflect monthly (via a survey) on ways that faith was permeated. That list will be shared as it may help other grade-alike teachers with permeation ideas. In addition, the schools will take some time during a learning improvement session to use a rubric that asks if each mark of Catholic Education is developing, actualizing, or permeating.
The Prince Albert Catholic School Division is excited to undertake this journey to enhance and promote Catholic Education in our school division. We recognize that Catholic Education is unique and it is more than just having Religion classes in our school, our faith permeates everything we do. By focusing one the five marks of Catholic Education, we endeavor to continue to enhance Catholic Education in the oldest Catholic School Division in our province.