Title: Celebration and Challenge
Author: Jim Gallagher SDB
Our Review, from Fr David O’Malley SDB: Celebration and Challenge is a friendly book, easy to read and full of the experience and wisdom of an author who has lived through some stirring times in the development of Catholic education. The rich complexity of documents about the catholic school that have been written over the last half a century have been opened up and mapped by Jim Gallagher, making them accessible to busy teachers and school governors across the country.
Jim is able to trace the consistent themes of the church about education. He is able to demonstrate that catholic education is concerned more with bringing young people to wholeness and fullness of life than it is about catholic practice although both are important. He identifies education as a ministry to the local area and places it in the context of “new evangelisation” with all the gradualness that implies.
Scattered through the text are key quotes from the documents and especially from Pope Francis whom Jim identifies as the first recent Pope who has actually been a classroom teacher. Here is just one quote:
I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for evangelisation of today’s world rather than her self-preservation.
This quote from Evagelii Gaudium spells out the challenge of being a Catholic school that is not tied to some fearful self-preservation but rather to embrace a confidence in the wisdom of the Gospel and to take it into the public sphere of education as a great way to live. Let Jim guide you through the common sense wisdom of the church’s thinking on schools. Be ready to be inspired for a new phase of Catholic education.
Buy it: Amazon
From the publisher: Fifty years of church teaching on education. Written by Jim Gallagher SDB who has been involved in the development of catechesis and education for all of those fifty years. In this book he describes the ideals that have guided his work in education and celebrates the arrival of Pope Francis as a pope who is also a teacher.