Rome (Italy). On 26 May 2022, on the Solemnity of the Ascension, the XX World Day of Catholic Education is celebrated, established in 2002 during a Congress of the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC) held in Brasilia, to draw attention to the contribution that educational institutions can offer for global development and the promotion of a culture of peace and fraternity.

Catholic schools reach about 62 million children in Kindergartens, Primary and Secondary schools. In addition, more than 6 million students are enrolled in Catholic Institutes and Universities at the post-secondary level. The Catholic School contributes to the efforts to achieve the 4th Goal of the 2030 Agenda, which consists of providing quality, equitable, and inclusive education, and learning opportunities for all (Global Report on Catholic Education 2021).

The purpose of the Day, promoted by the International Institutions of Catholic Educational Institutions of the various continents, is to reflect on, recognize, and celebrate Catholic education.

In particular, emphasis is placed on the invitation to respond to the call of Pope Francis to jointly promote and activate, through educational alliances, il The Global Pact on Education.

The Global Pact on Education is a commitment for all educational realities to become more and more capable of communicating with the territory, culture, and all those who work in the educational field, weaving networks and strategies that aim at the integral formation of the person in horizon of Christian humanism, actively involving itself in the promotion of justice and therefore in social transformation for the construction of a democratic and peaceful coexistence.

Listening to the cry of the young, the poor, and the Earth, the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, among the priority choices of the XXIV General Chapter, welcomes the Global Educational Pact in the style of the Preventive System, networking with the Salesian Family, national and international, intercultural, inter-religious, inter-congregational educational institutions and agencies.

It is the daily service carried out by the FMA Educating Communities scattered over the five continents, engaged in formal, non-formal, and informal education, with works, educational environments, and capillary presences throughout the territory, with projects that combine “educate by evangelizing and evangelize by educating “, contextualizing them in the values and languages of local and global youth, in complementarity with charisms and people called by a common mission.

Celebrating the 20th World Day of Catholic Education means placing it in the challenges of contemporaneity that educators have to face after the health emergency of the Covid-19 pandemic, which continues to have an impact on learning. Other crises are present, above all due to war and impoverishment, destined to affect the harmonious development of children and adolescents. The closure of schools – partial or total – and of many activities, have profound consequences for both children and adults.

Furthermore, highlighted by research and studies, worrying situations concerning the younger generations emerge – such as school dropouts and withdrawal from social life – which lower the level of preparation and increase the onset of psychological problems, undermining the desire to dream and to live.

At the same time, they are reasons for hope:

* the commitment of numerous Educating Communities who are facing, in alliance with families and institutions, the social, cultural, urban, ecological, and economic sustainability challenges and the consequences of the pandemic, to implement integral ecology plans in line with the objectives of the encyclical Laudato si’;

* the intense work to educate oneself and educate young people in care, non-violence, social friendship, responding to the call to universal fraternity made explicit by Pope Francis in the Encyclical Fratelli tutti.

* adherence to the initiatives of the Christian community in the climate of the synodal journey, strengthening ties with and between families, associations, parishes, and movements.

The World Day of Catholic Education in this time of economic, environmental, political and humanitarian crises, is also an opportunity to respond to the urgent appeal for peace, weaving “a network of solidarity with those who believe in education, especially with other groups of the Salesian Family committed to the ecclesial mission” (Guidelines for the educational mission of the FMA, Chap. 3).

Several resources are available on the Day’s website including a one-page flyer and an 8-page booklet – in English, French and Spanish – and a report on the seven commitments requested by Pope Francis under the Global Pact on Education, based on interviews, including that of Sr. Mickerlyne Cadet, FMA of the Province of O. L. of Perpetual Help of Haiti (HAI).

“We believe that education is one of the most effective ways to humanize the world and history. Education is above all a question of love and responsibility that is transmitted over time from generation to generation” (Pope Francis).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.