The world, in all its diversity, is eager to be guided towards the great values of mankind, truth, good and beauty; now more than ever…Teaching means to accompany young people in their search for truth and beauty, for what is right and good.— [ii] We want our students to maximize their human potential and to both be good and do good in authentic freedom.Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good.[xii] We are free to the extent that with the help of others, we have maximized these goods, these proper powers and perfections as man.[xiii] Such efforts raise fundamental questions of what it means to be human and our relationships with each other, the created world, and God.
The annual Cardinal Winning Lecture on Catholic Education, sponsored by the St.
Andrew’s Foundation, was delivered on February 6, 2016, at the University of Glasgow in Scotland by Tracey Rowland, the Australian theologian and Director of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne.
As Catholic educators, our goal is to help our students to become good persons.
Among those qualities we deem good are wisdom, faithfulness, and virtue.
Transcendentals are the timeless and universal attributes of being.[iii] They are the properties of all beings.
They reflect the divine origin of all things and the unity of all truth and reality in God. They help unite men across time and culture and are often a delight to explore and discuss, because they are substantive to our very nature.Rowland has much experience teaching teachers who teach in a Catholic ambiance.She also has much insight into ideas that are not, in fact, Catholic.In our knowing, loving and delighting the gift of reality appears to us as something infinitely and in-exhaustively valuable and fascinating.”[iv] In seeking to discuss one, the others are naturally and organically brought into the conversation.The following simple definitions and essential questions are provided as a general framework to help facilitate a discussion on any topic in any subject.He is principal of a diocesan K-12 Catholic school.He earned his doctorate in educational administration and has master’s degrees in English and educational administration.Beauty can be understood as a type of inner radiance or shine coming from a thing that is well-ordered to its state of being or is true to its nature or form.[viii] Beauty pleases not only the eye or ear, but also the intellect in a celebration of the integrity of our body and soul.It can be seen as a sign of God’s goodness, benevolence and graciousness, of both His presence and His transcendence in the world.[ix] It can serve as re-enchantment with the cosmos and all reality[x] and assist in moving our students to a rich and deep contemplative beholding of the real.[xi] Some essential questions related to beauty: Goodness When we explore issues of goodness with our students, we are fundamentally asking them to consider questions of how well someone or something fulfills its purpose. A thing is good to the degree that it enacts and perfects those powers, activities, and capacities appropriate to its nature and purpose.Rowland is the author of two books on Benedict XVI and of .The lecture was at the same time common-sensical, practical, intellectual, and, yes, theological.