Volume X: Catholic Education


By offering a summary of Church documents on Christian educa­tion, the compilers of the present collection render a valuable service to all those who are in any way engaged in the field of education and evangeliza­tion. For who can doubt that the Christian education of youth is an essen­tial part of the evangelizing mission of the Church, since its aim is to give witness to Christ, to transmit faith in Christ, and offer the young opportuni­ties to develop and deepen that faith?

My congratulations to CUSP for this further addition to their ex­cellent series presenting official Church teaching in a readily accessible form on subjects which are of vital interest to Catholics seeking to develop an informed faith.

Pio Cardinal Laghi, Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education


We have selected for this volume a number of Church documents which date from the turn of the century to the present day. Beginning with the Encyclical Acerbo Nimis, On Teaching Christian Doctrine, issued by Pope Pius X in 1905, and ending with the most recent document from the Pon­tifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality issued late in 1995, the documents which have been chosen are presented in chronological order. The mission entrusted to the Church by the Lord Jesus and perpetuated in every generation has remained constant: we are to make disciples of all the nations. Sound catechesis is a vital component to this mission. Catechesis is defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as “an education in the faith of children, young people, and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life” (CCC#5).

Table of Contents 

  • Acerbo Nimis, Encyclical Letter on Teaching Christian Doctrine, Pope St. Pius X, April 15, 
  • Divine Illius Magistri, Encyclical Letter on the Christian Education of Youth, Pope Pius XI, December 31, 1929
  • Vatican Council II, Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration on Christian, October 28, 1965 
  • Ad Normam Decreti, General Catechetical Directory, Congregation for the clergy, April 11, 1971
  • The Catholic School, Congregation for Catholic Education, March 19, 1977
  • Catechesi Tradendae, Apostolic Exhortation on Catechesis in Our Times, Pope John Paul II, October 16, 1979 
  • Les Laics Catholiques, Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, Congregation for Catholic Education, October 15, 1982 
  • Educational Guidance in Human Love, Congregation for Catholic Education, November 1, 1983 
  • The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, Congregation for Catholic Education, April 7, 1988 
  • Ex Corde Ecclesia, Apostolic Exhortation on the Mission of a Catholic University, Pope John Paul II, August 15, 1990 
  • The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, Guidelines for Education Within the Family, Pontifical Council for the Family, December 8, 1995 

Lectio Divina Cordis

Divine Reading of the Heart


HEAR the words as you inwardly read  or speak

– Read –


ENTER  the silence to reflect on a core precept

– Meditate –


ANSWER to the knock at the heart’s door

– Speak –


REST silently without words or thoughts

– Contemplate –


TRUST: “Do not let your HEART  be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”   (John 13:1)

 – Trust in the process –

Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living word.

The focus of Lectio Divina is not a theological analysis of biblical passages but viewing them with Christ  as the key to their meaning.

Approaching the Magisterium Summaries from this perspective may lead to a deeper appreciation of its meaning and  an appreciation of how it may be applied to one’s life.

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