“Christ was the perfect Teacher. . .
He spoke (taught) in parables . . . .
then He explained it . . . .
then He sent His students on a field trip . . . .
then He waited for them to return
and report what they had learned . . . .
then the final lesson . . . .
only through prayer and penance
can you succeed and reach the ultimate . . . .
We did not come into this world programmed. Education is a process, not a program. There must always be evidence of growth in the student — and also in the teacher.
—- Mother Patricia O’Connor, C.D.S., Educator
The Educator is a teacher whose role today literally encompasses all of life, from the parent who is the primary educator to the professional who has competence in a highly specialized field. In fact, in one way or another, we are all educators. We all teach.
THE RELIGIOUS EDUCATOR
As Religious Educators we rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who has been called, “The Teacher Within.” And we turn to the Virgin of Pentecost, who was “by her Faith the perfect student: taught by her Son and Master to a degree of knowledge in that Faith incomparably superior to that of anyone else. She was likewise (and for the same identical reason) the perfect teacher: actually teaching the Master Himself, who was her little Son.”
To be entrusted with the education of children is a privilege beyond measure, a ministry par excellence.
The primary concern of the Religious Educator should be that of making God reign in the school and individual classroom. A Religious Educator is not only the one through whom Christ’s light must constantly shine, but the Religious Educator is Christ’s spotlight.
As Pope John Paul II wrote in Catechesi Tradendae:
“The most valuable gift that the Church can offer to the bewildered and restless world of our time is to form within it Christians who are confirmed in what is essential and who are humbly joyful in their faith.”
All religious education is formation in Christ. Through the light of this instruction, faith becomes living, conscious and active. As Religious Educators we proclaim the Gospel of the Risen Lord while witnessing to the life of faith and prayer which alone gives meaning to Life.
The knowledge of religion does not suffice to make one a Christian. The development of Christian habits of prayer and religious practices in our schools and in the children’s homes is integral to religious educations. At this time of life when young people follow a person, rather than an idea, it is particularly important that they be led to a personal contact with Christ.
WHAT IS A TEACHER?
A teacher is Courage with Kleenex in her pocket, sympathy struggling with a snow suit, and patience with papers to grade.
Teachers spend twelve hours a day searching for Truth and the other twelve hours searching for Error.
A teacher does not really mind sniffles, squirming, stomach aches, spills, sloth and sassiness. Neither does she fall apart before tears, trifles and fights.
Most of all, a teacher is somebody who likes somebody else’s children and still has strength enough to smile and be pleasant.
Students come to look upon her for aid and explanations as did the Apostles of the Lord. Thank heaven for teachers.