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Vatican spokesman challenges fellow Jesuits to focus on education, evangelization

Catholic World News - August 01, 2012

Addressing a conference of Jesuit heads of secondary schools, the director of the Holy See Press Office called upon his fellow Jesuits to renew their focus on education and heed Pope Benedict’s reflections on the new evangelization, the contemporary educational emergency, and the relationship between faith and reason.

“We cannot hide the fact that, for a considerable period of time, many people in the Society of Jesus thought that our schools had achieved their historical mission and that the Jesuits would do better to dedicate themselves to other forms of apostolate,” said Father Federico Lombardi, SJ. “This attitude was influenced by a global tendency of criticism against schools, a fall in the numbers of Jesuits, and the idea that schools were incapable of educating people in justice and the transformation of society.”

Commenting on many students’ lack of knowledge of the faith, Father Lombardi said that

with great humility we must recognize that the way in which we have transmitted the faith for so long is no longer effective today. The language we used to use has lost its meaning, and we are not present in the environments in which young people live, communicate and grow … Serving the faith and committing ourselves to the "new evangelization" is, then, a primary requirement for the mission of the Society of Jesus and the Church, one we cannot and must not avoid.”

“Education must help people to find a balance between freedom and discipline, forming characters day after day and not reneging on its responsibility to identify rules of behavior and life, while preparing people to face the challenges that the future will certainly bring,” he added. “This is the education that the pedagogical tradition of the Society of Jesus has always sought to impart, and it remains vitally important today.”

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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Aug. 01, 2012 4:00 PM ET USA

    The Church has failed in teaching the Faith in the last few decades because many in charge of educating decided to drop the age old way of doing things for novel ways of teaching that had no connection to the Faith at all. The new must be wedded to the old but only if the new is actually in harmony with the Faith. Another thing that is often left out is holiness; if we want to teach the faith we must live it in a big way.

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