Catholic Identity and Mission

Vision and Purpose

Inspired by the message and actions of Jesus Christ we nurture excellence as a Community of Learners, so all may flourish in the fullness of their humanity. 

‘I came that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10).

Catholic Education Diocese of Wagga Wagga is united in the belief that Jesus Christ, our greatest teacher, calls us to share in His mission and witness to our faith, build inclusive, caring, Christ-centered communities and deliver contemporary learning opportunities so that all may flourish. These actions address the dual moral purpose of Catholic identity and student learning.

Inspired by the message and actions of Jesus Christ, our mission is to inspire the spirits, minds and actions of all, and in doing so foster a community of hope that can confidently and authentically engage in the world of today. 

As such, the Catholic Education Office is called to provide a range of high quality evangelising, educational, pastoral and corporate services that support and challenge systemic schools to deliver the best possible outcomes for every student and to broadly contribute to the ongoing faith and pastoral life of the Diocese.

Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga exist to educate and form young people in Catholic discipleship. Catholic schools have a religious purpose and a religious life. Our schools share a common purpose to educate and form students as followers or missionary disciples of Jesus.

 Our Catholic schools: 

  • Share the good news of Jesus Christ through personal and communal witness and word. It is hoped that this witness and word will lead each person in the Catholic school community to proclaim the Gospel in all that they do and say. 
  • educate from and for vibrant, welcoming and diverse communities, with a particular commitment to the poor; for justice, integrity and peace; and with hope for the future. 
  • are founded on being Christ-centered and student-focused.  Our work in Catholic education is to create the conditions for students to become fully alive – inspired with a love of learning and a heart of hope. 

In guiding our students to reach the fullness of their humanity, our learning communities nurture:

  • a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through encounter, celebration and love 
  • actions that give witness to the message of Jesus and the mission of the Church 
  • inclusive partnerships within a community of faith
  • outstanding educational experiences founded on a Catholic worldview 
  • an authentic integration of faith, knowledge, culture and life 
  • spirit filled environments where Jesus Christ is known, loved and imitated
  • communities of respect for each other, the wider society and the earth
  • partnership between parents and staff in the education of their children
  • excellence as a community of learners
  • the development of critical thinking capabilities and lifelong learning.

Five touchstones that express our Vision and Purpose

Faith, Care, Stewardship, Learning, Service

  • FAITH
    • Catholic schools are called to be dynamic signs and instruments of the life-giving good news of Jesus Christ. We are called to witness the Good News of the Gospels so that our schools are places of the integration of faith and life.
  • CARE
    • Building caring and supportive environments that promote wellbeing, learning and the dignity of the human being.Catholic schools aim to build communities of care where all are welcome.
  • STEWARDSHIP
    • As Christians we have a particular concern for people, creation and resources; we understand and appreciate the interrelatedness of all creation and know creation as a gift from God which requires equitable sharing and wise stewardship.
  • LEARNING
    • Inspiring, informing and engaging our communities in learning excellence. The purpose of all learning in Catholic schools is both for the good of the individual person and the common good leading to authentic transformation of persons and society as a whole.
  • SERVICE
    • Embracing servant leadership which fosters collaboration practices for mutual benefit and partnership. All members of our Catholic School communities must remember that they have a role of Christian service. They are to be a sign to all of the Christ who came to serve rather than to be served.
Student Evangelisation 

Student Evangelisation 

‘Sharing Our Story’ is the Religious Education syllabus used by schools in the Diocese of  Wagga Wagga. It supports the catechetical and evangelising mission of the Church while supporting students in their journey of faith.

Sharing Our Story is organised around eight strands: God, Jesus, Church, Sacraments,  Scripture, Christian Life, Prayer and Religion and Society. (Religion and Society is a strand taught only in secondary schools). 

‘Sharing Our Story’ is based on shared Christian Praxis. Children dialogue, reflect and make connections from their experiences to the Christian story and vision. This hopefully leads to a response that results in a more meaningful living of the faith. 

The movements are: 

  • Focusing: Interest is caught and motivation sparked
  • Naming: The students relate how the particular topic relates to their own experience Reflecting: Students consider more deeply what has been named
  • Christian Story and Vision: The faith story of the Christian community throughout history is presented.

Prayer and Sacramental Life 

The formation of students is not limited to the RE program offered in each school. The formation of students permeates the whole life and environment of the school. This occurs  in a number of ways, including: 

  • Regular opportunities for students to engage in prayer and worship through daily  prayer, whole school prayer services and the celebration of Mass both at a class and  whole school level as well as opportunities to enter into the Sacrament of  Reconciliation 
  • Sacramental programs for Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist, that are  conducted in partnership with the local parish community, partnership with the local  parish 
  • Regular visits from Parish clergy 
  • Opportunities for students, particularly in our secondary schools and colleges, to have retreat opportunities to enable them to reflect on their spiritual journey.They recognise the individuality and dignity of each student by fostering their unique potential and spirituality. These occasions are a call for deep reflection where prayer, liturgy and scripture are at the centre of the experience. 

Social Justice 

By encouraging students to commit to community initiatives at school and outside the school environment, encapsulates two core objectives of Catholic schools: bringing Christ into the lives of the students and providing a learning experience for all students which allows them to grow and thrive.

The Wagga Wagga Diocese has a focus on practical community outreach and support for  Catholic agencies such as Caritas Australia (Project Compassion in Lent), the St Vincent de  Paul Society (Winter and Christmas Appeals) and Catholic Mission (especially leading to  October, which is Mission Month). 

Many schools have ‘Mini Vinnies’ or a secondary social justice group or conduct mission project events. Students across the Diocese participate in the primary and secondary days exploring social justice issues and supporting each other in social justice projects. 

Staff Evangelisation 

Staff Evangelisation 

A critical element of our work in developing the Catholic Identity and Mission of our schools is the Connections Program. This program ensures that all staff have access to an ongoing formatory program throughout their career. 

‘Connections’ is a suite of programs which we have developed for all staff in our primary and secondary schools. Each program will cater to a specific group of people. The programs release staff from their usual duties to allow them to come away and reflect on who they are and their call to serve within Catholic Schools. 

The purpose of Connections is three-fold. It is designed to equip each staff member to take their place in the great mission of Catholic Education; to directly enrich their daily work, and to create a space for them to contemplate the message and actions of Jesus Christ and the personal invitation He offers to each of us.

Outcomes of the Connections cycle

To provide participants with the opportunity to:

  • Encounter Jesus and His message.
  • To form staff in the richness of the Catholic Tradition.
  • To build the confidence and capacity of staff to participate in and to lead spiritual formation and evangelisation within their schools.
  • To develop skills in theological reflection, prayer and evangelisation.
  • To renew and maintain Catholic Schools as spiritually nurturing communities
  • Nurture a personal relationship with God, one another and the whole of creation.
  • To foster within staff a commitment to personal spiritual growth so that they will engage in Jesus’ mission in the world.
  • To develop the spirituality of staff who in turn encourage, lead and enhance the spiritual formation of students through authentic witness.

‘Connections’ is a suite of programs which we have developed for all staff in our primary and secondary schools. Each program will cater to a specific group of people. The programs release staff from their usual duties to allow them to come away and reflect on who they are and their call to serve within Catholic Schools. 

Come and See is a program for teachers in their second year of teaching. The program focuses on the mission of Catholic Education and the mission of the teacher in a Catholic school. This program brings together participants new to teaching and deepens their understandings introduced during Orientation and Induction programs of the system and school.

Come Follow Me is a program for staff members who have worked in our schools for six to eight years. The program is designed to give participants an opportunity to catch their breath’, reflect on their experience so far in our schools and deepen their understanding of evangelisation and mission.

I Have Chosen You is a program specifically designed for members of school communities who have given many years of service to Catholic education. It is designed to be a ‘thank you’ and allow participants to reflect on their achievements. 

I Call You Friends is for staff who are in their 10th – 24th year of service. Participants engage in activities that will nourish their personal growth in spirituality while allowing time for reflection and renewal.

Treasure in Earthen Vessels is for school and personnel engaged in Catholic Education in the  Diocese of Wagga Wagga. Participants engage in activities that nourish their personal growth in spirituality while exploring the concept and impact of missionary discipleship personally and as a school community. 

Note: The same accreditation requirements with respect to regular formation for staff exist as per the Accreditation to Work, Teach and Lead Framework. 

Community

Family Evangelisation 

As a key ministry of parishes and the diocese, Catholic schools encourage and support parents in their responsibility for the faith formation of their children. 

For Catholic schools to be effective and successful in the life and mission of the Church, there needs to be a relationship with the local parish community and the wider diocesan community. 

The Religious Education curriculum also offers opportunities for families to connect with their child’s spiritual and faith journey. As part of the RE program, parents are invited to participate in a variety of liturgical and other religious events throughout the year in order to nurture personal spiritual growth and become part of the worshipping community. 

The Parish Priest and other clergy are involved in supporting parents as first educators of their children in faith.