Seven years ago, I began my journey working in Catholic education. On the first week, someone asked me: “What is the mission?” I said, “Jesus.”
While my answer was not wrong, I was caught off guard. Someone asked me about the mission of my organization and I couldn’t properly articulate its mission and vision. Why does our school exist? What communities do we serve and why do we serve them? How are we serving Jesus in our schools? How is our school’s mission and vision different from other educational institutions?
Our mission: The Department of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Orange serves the mission of building the Church of tomorrow by supporting schools that provide students with the best Catholic faith formation, and the skills and knowledge to live lives of goodness, service, and success. Our schools are forming the future faithful of the Catholic Church. The department works to help these schools grow and flourish and to make Catholic school available to the largest number of Catholic families possible.
I encourage us all to re-read the mission statement above and our individual school’s mission statement this week. Let’s share our stories in light of the mission that has been entrusted to us.
What is the mission of your school? How are we being “salt and light” to our communities? What is your dream for the fruits of your work? What animates your soul with joy and gratitude?
As contemplatives in action, let us pause and take a moment to realize that through the glows and grows of our daily work, we are serving Jesus as His disciples in 2018. May we continue to become the person God intended us to be while serving the children entrusted to our care. May we always remember that in communion with Christ in the Eucharist, our schools are places where the Good News is being shared and places where the joy of the Gospel can be felt and experienced in a tangible way. May our ministry be a place for daily formation and transformation – for all students, teachers, staff, and administrators.
Prayer: Lord, enlighten the way. Give me courage and wisdom.
Internal Note: Why mission? An excellent Catholic school is guided and driven by a clearly communicated mission that embraces a Catholic identity rooted in Gospel values, centered on the Eucharist, and committed to faith formation, academic excellence and service. Standard 1 in National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools
Benchmark 1.5 calls for “All constituents know and understand the mission.” https://www.catholicschoolstandards.org/standard1-worksheet
In other words, it is not just the principal’s job to know and understand the mission of the organization.