In the first part of this series, I argued that schools are not the exclusive space where Catholics receive an education. Education is the cultivation of one’s humanity. For this reason, the parish is also an institution dedicated to education. Liturgical formation in the parish should invite all parishioners to an authentic Christian humanism.
Over the last three years, I have been working with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, addressing the quality of Eucharistic celebration in their schools. Almost universally, school leaders, especially at secondary institutions, recognize that all-school Masses are rarely occasions of prayer for faculty or students. Here are three questions for schools in this situation to consider.
In usual conversation, the term “education” is most often used to refer to the process of formalized schooling. Schools are where education takes place, and for this reason, education is understood as the project of a young person who completes this education upon conferral of a degree or certification. One may begin, as my undergraduates say, “to adult” upon graduation.
Today, May 1, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles (in his role as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) will be renewing the consecration of the United States to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The United States has been consecrated to Mary on three occasions including 1792, 1846, and most recently in 1959. Yet why consecrate the nation to the Blessed Virgin Mary at all?
Summers meant catching fireflies against the background of the Great Smoky Mountains. The mountains were as green as could be, producing the sweetest of smells that permeated our little town of Maryville. We’d play Hide and Go Seek until the last light fell across the foothills of the Smokies.