CNS photo/John Shaughnessy, The Criterion

School chaplaincy engages students in the faith

  • February 19, 2015

The role of chaplaincy in Catholic education has a long history. When Catholic high schools were founded, by religious orders, it was often with great sacrifice that a community would identify a chaplain who had theological training, often a priest or professed religious. Those early communities understood the value of chaplaincy.

Since the 1980s in Ontario, chaplaincy in Catholic secondary schools has grown into a full-time position in most cases or part-time in a few schools. Today, chaplains play an important role in the mission of Catholic education.

Religious education classes, and in fact all classes in Catholic schools, seek to impart an academic understanding of our religion. Chaplaincy translates much of that knowledge into Christian living, as chaplains work to bring together principals, teachers, parents and students. They are responsible for the entire community, encompassing not only faith development of students, but also staff and parents.  

The largest challenge to chaplaincy today is connecting with teenagers in a society that places greater pressure than ever before on adolescents.

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