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COMMUNITY "In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body."
(1 Corinthians 12:13)
Catholics approach God together and commit to living as a community, a people of God in the world. The Catholic community, which extends over time and space, finds its life source in the traditional belief that the church represents the mystical Body of Christ. The Catholic community serves the common good of society by integrating faith and culture, thereby transforming society.
TRADITION"We must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it."
(Hebrews 2: 1)
Tradition is foundational to the formation of the Catholic community. Tradition means holding on to the life of the community, being open to the continuing action of the Holy Spirit and paying homage to the God who acts in the history of a people. The focus of tradition is clarified by a vision of the future in Christ.
JUSTICE"He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor."
(Luke 4: 18)
Catholic social teaching establishes justice as a core commitment of faith and a sign of the Reign of God. Church statements capture the scriptural basis for justice, insisting that Catholics have a preferential option for the poor and marginalized. The dignity of the human person, the primacy of both the common good and of workers are the cornerstones of Catholic social justice.
SACRAMENTALITY"God saw everything that was made, and indeed, it was very good."
(Genesis 1: 31)
All of creation is the ordinary medium of God’s outreach to the human family. God communicates to humans…through everything and anything of our world. Everything created is good because it is of God. A Catholic attitude to the world affirms the world as so good as to be sacramental. That is, it is made holy and is sacred.
HOSPITALITY"Whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
Being Catholic entails an abiding love for all people with commitment to their welfare, to rights and justice. The Catholic community is inclusive of diverse peoples and perspectives is free of discrimination and sectarianism and welcomes all peoples especially those most in need.
HUMANNESS"And being found in human form, he humbles himself."
(Philippians 2: 8)
God affirms the essential goodness of the human condition in becoming human in Jesus. A Catholic attitude towards the human condition is decidedly positive and compassionate. Catholics embrace their humanness as a gift, celebrate the essential goodness of being human, take delight in the enjoyment of human living, tolerate human imperfections, and are merciful in the face of human sinfulness.
RATIONALITY"Know how you ought to answer everyone."
(Colossians 4: 6)
Throughout Catholic history, reason has played an important role in the search for truth. The critical and speculative powers of reason allow for an active and open stance in relation to the truth. Catholics seek truth rationally and critically as well as through appreciation and respect. Rationality encourages faith to seek understanding.
SPIRITUALITY"You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy."
(Leviticus 19: 2)
Catholic spirituality is rooted in the life of the Trinity and is lived "according to the Spirit". Spirituality has to do with the way Catholics live their beliefs. Spirituality consists in letting God be present in each moment of the day, becoming attuned to God's presence in the ups and downs of life. Prayer and a commitment to the moral and ethical values of the gospel provide the opening to God's presence.
*excerpts taken from The Religious Dimension of Education in Edmonton Catholic Schools – A Manifesto for Catholic Education. September 28, 1999.