This year, the 10th of September marks the celebration of Education Sunday for the Church in England and Wales.
In our prayer intentions, we will ask Almighty God to bless all people involved in Catholic education, and to bless the year ahead.
The resources provided to schools and to parishes focus on the promise given by Jesus in St Matthew’s Gospel: Where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them (Matthew 18:20).
As students and staff gather for Education Sunday, they can take these words to heart, for our Lord Jesus Christ always keeps His promise: you are gathered together in His name and He is with you as you work, learn, pray, grow and live out your mission.
The great desire of Jesus is to be with us and to invite us to enter into a personal relationship with Him, a relationship of love. When a person knows they are truly loved, a new confidence abounds.
The mission of our Catholic schools, colleges and universities is to provide a holistic education which enables the lives of children and young people to flourish and for them to be formed into the men and women that God the Father has created them to be.
We owe much gratitude to all those who have governed, led, taught and supported the children and young people in our Catholic schools, colleges and universities over the years, and those who continue to create the environments and opportunities for a loving encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since the 19th century the Catholic Church has become the country’s largest provider of secondary schools and second-largest provider of primary schools. They now outperform national averages for GCSE English, Maths and Religious Education results, while taking in more pupils from the most deprived backgrounds.
On Education Sunday, as we gather in the name of the Lord Jesus and have confidence that He is with us as He promised, let us give thanks to Almighty God for all the ways He has been present to us amidst the joys and sorrows of our life. Let us invite Him to be with us over the coming academic year.
The Right Reverend Marcus Stock MA, STL
Bishop of Leeds
Chairman of the Catholic Education Service
The CES and Ten Ten Resources have produced free, downloadable Education Sunday resources for use by schools and parishes.