Catholic Church Teachings

Catholic Church teachings on Catholic education


The Catholic Church has emphasized the importance of Catholic education over the centuries.  This page will be updated throughout the year with selected excerpts from various Catholic Church documents that emphasize the importance of Catholic education.  These passages are also discussed at the beginning of our faculty meetings and displayed on the table below the crucifix in the lobby.



“The Catholic school loses its purpose without constant reference to the Gospel and a frequent encounter with Christ." 

      The Catholic School (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977)


“The Catholic school finds its true justification in the mission of the Church; it is based on an educational philosophy in which faith, culture and life are brought into harmony."

      Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1988)


“Among educational means the Christian faithful should greatly value schools, which are principal assistance to parents in fulfilling their educational task.”

      Code of Canon Law (1917, revised in 1983)  


“What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you.  And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness…. A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person.  And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.”

      Address of the Holy Father to Pupils, Sports Arena of St Mary’s University College, September 17, 2010


“Splendid, therefore, and of the highest importance is the vocation of those who help parents in carrying out their duties and act in the name of the community by undertaking a teaching career.  This vocation requires special qualities of mind and heart, most careful preparation and a constant readiness to accept new ideas and to adapt the old."

      Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration on Christian Education (Ecumenical Council, 1965)


“The prime responsibility for creating this unique Christian school climate rests with the teachers…for the teacher does not write on inanimate material, but on the very spirits of human beings.”

      The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1997)


“The project of the Catholic school is convincing only if carried out by people who are deeply motivated, because they witness to a living encounter with Christ, in whom alone ‘the mystery of man truly becomes clear.’"

      Educating Together (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 2007)


“Because of their role, consecrated persons are a ‘living memorial of Jesus.’”

      Consecrated Persons and Their Mission in School: Reflections and Guidelines (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 2002)



“It is not enough that the initial training be at a good level; this must be maintained and deepened, always bringing it up to date.”

      Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses of Faith (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1982)



“Catholic schools naturally enjoy educational advantages which offer programs other schools cannot offer or can offer only with great difficulty."

      To Teach as Jesus Did (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1972)



“Catholic parents are reminded of their duty to send their children to Catholic schools wherever this is possible, to give Catholic schools all the support in their power, and to cooperate with them in their work for the good of their children.

Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration on Christian Education (Ecumenical Council, 1965 )