MESSAGE FROM THE HOLY FATHER FRANCISCO
TO THE GENERAL PREPOSIT OF THE ESCOLAPIANS ON THE
OCCASION OF THE ONLINE SEMINAR ON THE GLOBAL EDUCATIONAL PACT
[12-14 November 2020]
To the Most Reverend
Father Pedro Aguado Cuesta
Superior General of the Order of the Poor Regular Clerics
of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools
Reverend Father :
I am grateful for your invitation to the event promoted by the Union of Superiors General and the International Union of Superiors General on the challenge of rebuilding the global educational pact that, due to the pandemic, will be held online from November 12 to 14. I greet those responsible for the various Institutes of Consecrated Life who will participate and all those who make this seminar possible.
Consecrated Life has always been at the forefront of the educational task. An example of this is your founder, San José de Calasanz, who built the first school for children, but also the religious who educated him in Estadilla and long before the medieval monasteries that preserved and spread classical culture. From this strong root, different charisms have arisen at all times in history that, by God's gift, have been able to accommodate the needs and challenges of each time and place. Today the Church calls you to renew that purpose from your own identity, and I thank you for taking up this witness with such determination and enthusiasm.
As you know, there are seven essential commitments in the global educational pact that is being promoted. Seven commitments that I want to synthesize in three lines of concrete action: focus , welcome and involve .
To focus on what is important is to put the person at the center, on "their value, their dignity, to make their own specificity, their beauty, their uniqueness stand out and, at the same time, their ability to relate to others and to reality that surrounds her. Valuing the person makes education a means for our children and young people to grow and mature, acquiring the skills and resources necessary to build together a future of justice and peace. It is essential that the objective is not lost sight of and dissipated in the media, in projects and in structures. We work for people, they are the ones that form societies, and these are the ones that structure a single humanity, called by God to be his People of choice.
To achieve this, the reception is necessary. This means listening to the other, to the recipients of our service, children and young people. It implies that parents, students and authorities - the main agents of education - listen to other types of sounds, which are not simply those of our educational circle. This will prevent them from closing in on their own self-referentiality and will make them open up to the cry that comes from every man and from creation. It is necessary to encourage our children and young people to learn to relate, to work in groups, to have an empathic attitude that rejects the culture of waste. Likewise, it is important that they learn to safeguard our common home, protecting it from the exploitation of its resources,
The last line of action is decisive: involve . The attitude of listening, defined in all these commitments, cannot be understood as a mere hearing and forgetting, but rather has to be a platform that allows everyone to actively engage in this educational work, each one from their specificity and responsibility. Involving and getting involved means working to give children and young people the possibility of seeing this world that we leave them as their inheritance with a critical eye, capable of understanding the problems in the field of economics, politics, growth and progress, and to propose solutions that are truly at the service of man and the entire human family from the perspective of an integral ecology.
Dear brothers: I accompany with my prayers the efforts of all the Institutes represented in this event, and of all the consecrated and lay people who work in the field of education, asking the Lord that, as he has always done, also in this historical moment the Consecrated Life is an essential part of the global educational compact. I entrust them to the Lord, and I ask God to bless them and that the Holy Virgin take care of them.
And please don't forget to pray for me.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, October 15, 2020