Catholic Schools Week 2013
CSW 2013 will begin on Sunday January 27 2013 and end on February 3 2013.
Theme for 2013
The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2013 is: ‘Catholic Schools in the Community of Faith: Sharing the Good News’.
During CSW 2013 Catholic schools are invited to celebrate and experience the joy and happiness of being part of a developing, loving and caring community. In Catholic schools pupils are encouraged to grow in communion with Christ and with each other. Not alone as individuals but with the help of each other the school community achieves its goal: ‘the fully alive person for self and for others.’
CSW 2013 will firstly encourage schools to take time in prayer giving thanks for the gift of faith and praying for growth in faith. Secondly during the week schools will be encouraged to reflect on the witness of the Christian life that is available to us in the lives of those around us and in the lives of the saints that we celebrate during CSW 2013 (Monday 28 January – St. Thomas Aquinas, Thursday 31 January – St John Bosco, Friday 1 February- St Brigid). Finally we will be encouraged to look to Christ because faith has its starting and finishing points in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The theme of Catholic Schools Week this year brings two important realities together. The first is the community of faith and the second is sharing the good news.
Share the Good News is the title of Ireland’s national directory for catechesis. It is a guide for the journey of faith from early childhood to mature adulthood. It is full of images, stories and plans for how all of us can share the good news in the various communities of faith of which we are a part.
You should dip into it sometime, not least into the sections that deal with schools during this week.
There are many communities of faith. The family home is the most important community of all, where the seed of faith is first sown. In the school community, this seed is nurtured and grows but in teenage years it is also challenged and can be subjected to caricature and ridicule. During adult years people often feel inadequate in expressing their faith in a society that leaves little space for God. So it is that we all need a community of faith that is bigger than home or school. For most of us this will be the parish.
When a parish is working well it is truly a remarkable witness to faith. The parish is defined by geography but it lives by faith: from the celebration of Mass to all of the other sacraments; from the welcome given at baptism to the support of the bereaved; from the unseen, voluntary labour to the care of those in need; from praying every day to working for justice; from a sense of local life to being part of a universal church.
The Catholic Church worldwide is celebrating a Year of Faith. During Catholic Schools Week 2013 we are asking parishes and schools to reach out to each other in a spirit of faith. Over the past few years many parishes and schools have celebrated this week together. But some have not. In particular, I ask parishes that haven’t participated in Catholic Schools Week in previous years to do so this year.
The good news is that the seed of faith has been sown in our lives. Jesus revealed much about the reign of God through the parables that he told. Amongst the most important are those that speak of a sower sowing seed. Some seeds fell in thorns and were choked. Some fell in a drain and were drowned. Some fell in shallow earth and perished. And some fell in rich soil and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundred fold. People often read these parables in a moralistic way – making judgments about the quality of people. But the true meaning of these parables is that the Word of God will not be frustrated by anything human: while many seeds may not bear fruit, the true seed of the Word of God will yield a rich harvest in unexpected ways in our personal lives, in our families, in our parishes, and, yes, in our schools. The task of Christian faith is not to bemoan all that is wrong with us and our lives, but to have the eyes to see that even in the midst of a sad and difficult world the seed of God’s Word is bearing fruit in ways that we could never have imagined.
Let’s celebrate the good news of our Christian faith during this week in the communities that are our homes, our schools and our parishes. You will find many useful suggestions in this booklet to help you.
Catholic Schools Partnership