Williams Matt 2022



What is Catholic Education?

Recently, I have been involved with sessions at a local systems level, reflecting on the newly released Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Statement of Mission. Below is a summary of my notes taken from many rich conversations around the question of 'What is Catholic education?'

Catholic schools have been a major component in Australian education for over 180 years and provide young people with the means to acquire the knowledge to find their place in society. According to the National Catholic Education Commission, there are over 1,700 Catholic schools in Australia that hold close to 800,000 students and employ 80,000 plus staff. In Victoria alone, Catholic schools educate close to 200,000 children. It is a large organisation and very complex.

Catholic schools have adapted to changing circumstances and changing times. In recent decades, as both the Church and Victorian society have changed, Catholic schools have continued to develop and to grow in quality and public esteem. Compared to previous generations, today’s Catholic schools are relatively well-equipped and staffed by well-qualified, committed teachers. They also have distinctive goals and features that derive from a core of philosophical and theological truths that are central to their character and mission.

The product of Catholic education is an education for the person and for society, for inviting students to find meaning in their lives through forming a mature relationship with their God, for developing communal obligations and aspirations. Goals and ethos will remain and be incorporated into a new product that is more appropriate to the multicultural and pluralistic faith dimensions of modern Victorian society.

Found across the country in numerous rural and urban locations, the Catholic school is a good or physical entity. It provides the local community a service that is the application of human efforts to people and provides intangible benefits to customers. The idea of Catholic education includes the concepts and philosophies its education is founded upon, attended by a diverse clientele. Catholic education at its grassroots was an education system based on providing education to the needy and less fortunate in society. A majority of Catholic schools were set up by religious orders, whose main focus was to provide a better life and opportunity to those who may otherwise miss out and give priority to educating the spiritually and financially poor and being their advocates.

It is always timely to reflect on and celebrate what is a Catholic education and the great work being done in Catholic schools such as Padua College. May we listen to the spirit and see where it guides us, with the future of Catholic education on the Mornington Peninsula.

I would be interested to hear from our Padua community to what is a Catholic education for you?

Email mwilliams@padua.vic.edu.au with responses.

Year 11 Student off to Rome and London!

Mackenzie Dornom (Year 11) has been successful to gain a place on the prestigious ACU school leavers study program. She is one of five lucky Year 11 students from Melbourne Archdiocesan Catholic Schools. The program involves living on campus at the ACU Rome for two weeks and one week in central London learning about the history of the Catholic Christian Tradition, both inside and outside the classroom in these two great European cities. A special part of the program will be one night in Assisi learning about St Francis and St Clare. Mackenzie will be on the program from November 18 till December 11.

125 Year Anniversary

In 2023, Padua College celebrates its 125-year anniversary since its doors were opened by the Mercy Sisters in 1898. A working party has been working feverishly, planning significant events that will mark this significant anniversary. Please keep an eye out for ‘Save the Date’ invites with key 2023 celebration dates.

Yours in partnership.

Social Team Initiative

Earlier this year, our student Social Justice team had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the St Vincent de Paul Society to discuss ways that the College community could further support the organisation. The idea of creating community blankets was borne and our young students reached out to parishes, staff, fellow students, and the wider community for their support in donating 15 x 15cm knitted or crocheted squares or balls of yarn during term three. “We are very grateful and proud of the results,” says Yasmine McCoy “We received 100 balls of yarn and just under 900 squares and were able to make 12 blankets from these donations.” Thank you to everyone in the community who contributed to this project and well done to our wonderful Social Justice team members.

Padua College

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