As in all areas of his pastoral ministry, what a priest does in Catholic education he does in the name of Christ and His Church. His “role” is not an ascribed activity or a “part” which he performs for the benefit of passive recipients. It is rather together with and as a member of God’s people that a priest fulfils his role in Catholic education. Real collaboration between the three pillars of life-long Christian education – family, parish and school – is crucial in the Diocese of Lancaster.
Although over the years there has been a decline in numbers regularly attending Mass and participating in the life of the Church. Our Catholic schools still continue to attract families who see them as credible and desirable educational options for their children. This means that the majority of pupils in our schools have little or no experience of church. This challenges those in parishes and schools to find new ways to evangelise those in their care in accordance with the Church’s call to the ‘new evangelisation’. This week we hear from two of our priests, Fr. Christopher Loughran (Monday) and Fr. Hugh Pollock (Wednesday) on their experience of ministering in the educational setting. We also hear from Lay chaplain John Griffin (Friday) on his experience of priest chaplains.