VATICAN CITY (CNS): Citing a steep decline in the number of men and women religious who work in schools, the Vatican has issued a new document highlighting the ‘irreplaceable’ role of consecrated people in education and encouraging them to persevere.
Released at a November 19 press conference, the 44-page text said Church officials are ‘painfully aware of certain difficulties’ that lead religious communities to abandon schooling, including a dearth of vocations and ‘the attraction of alternative forms of apostolate seemingly more gratifying’.
But the document, ‘Consecrated Persons and their Mission in Schools: Reflections and Guidelines’, encouraged religious communities to see the present difficulties as an opportunity for purification and refocus.
It called for rediscovery of the ‘essential’ in the presence of religious men and women in schools – witness to Christ, the priority of the person and relationships based on love, the search for truth, and the synthesis of faith, life and culture.
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