Strengthening of Catholic Schools

July 12, 2016

Dear Everyone,

NZCBC Letter to School Boards 2016 is a most significant letter concerning all our Catholic schools and therefore all the parish and faith communities of Aotearoa. While it is addressed to members of Boards of Trustees and Trust Board members, it concerns the entire Catholic community and thus I am sending it to DRSs, Principals, Chaplains, Diocesan staff, Board Chairs and Parish Council Chairs, together with all our Priests.

This letter follows in the wake of the Bishops’ Document, The Catholic Education of School-Age Children,which aims to clarify the nature and purpose of every Catholic school. A particular focus of the letter is to highlight, for Board members, the crucial leadership and witness roles of Principals, DRSs and other practicing Catholic teachers within our schools. In so doing the letter does not neglect to uphold the contribution every staff member and student makes to the vitality of our faith-based schools.

I am confident that this letter will become a valuable resource for Boards. In tone it is appreciative and encouraging while it also does not shy away from reminding us all of the firm expectations around growing the Catholicity of schools and the need to support and train those who have particular responsibilities in this regard. I ask Board Chairs in particular to ensure that this letter is discussed and revisited regularly around the Board table.

Our parishes are growing. We all delight in the participation of families with school aged children and teenagers. Schools and Colleges stand at the heart of parish life. Thank you for all you do in serving our iwi whakapono.

+ Charles E. Drennan.

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