Message for the 15th Week for Catholic Education (May 25-31, 2020)
Catholic Education: Promoting Peace!
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5,9)
† Praised be Jesus Christ!
Dear educators, parents and young people,
First of all, may Christ's peace and love be with your families and schools in abundance. This year the Church in Korea celebrates the 15th Week for Catholic Education with the theme of ‘peace’. I would like to remind you of our responsibility to promote peace in educational settings: families and schools.
I once asked children what peace means to them. They replied: “It means to live quietly.”; “It means to live without war.”; “It means to get along with each other.” Children want their homes and schools to be peaceful and enjoyable. However, contrary to children’s innocent desires, many families and schools can be far from being places of peace. Often, they are places stained by violent words and deeds, individualism and indifference, competition, and undemocratic relationships. Peace is so fragile it can be broken when human relationships are determined by status, rank, money, and power.
As our Lord said, “Blessed are the peacemakers!” We human beings are all called to be ‘facilitators of peace making’. Promoting peace is not limited to simply maintaining a ‘negative peace’ without uproar, conflict, or quarrel. Instead, peace making is to stimulate ‘positive peace’ in an effort to prioritize the vulnerable, seek constructive resolution of conflict, protect life, and establish reciprocal dialogue. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines peace as “safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity” (n.2304).
Dear educators and parents, children are ‘our’ children and are precious beings who, in turn, will take charge of the future. I ask you to make your homes, schools and the broader social environment into places more favorable for children, so that they can peacefully and happily grow. I invite you to treat children with generosity, wait on them patiently, reach out to them, and try to sincerely converse with them. True peace begins with dialogue based on generosity and respect, and will eventually bear fruit through tenderness and perseverance.
In particular, in this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, we pray that the scars of war should never be repeated, and that as a society we can move beyond conflict and hostility between people. Please pray for the peaceful future of our nation.
1. Let’s through the practice of specific words and deeds promote peaceful relationships in our schools and families.
2. Let’s implement, in schools, educational programs and host events to raise awareness about peace.
3. Let’s organize, in families, classes, and schools, visits to places where we can raise consciousness for peace (for example, the War Memorial of Korea, Independence Hall of Korea, Demilitarized Zone [DMZ], DMZ Pyeonghwa Nuri-gil, etc.).
4. Let’s pray for peace in families, schools, society and the world.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Amen.”
Week for Catholic Education in May 2020
+ Pius Moon Chang-woo
Coadjutor Bishop of Cheju
CBCK Committee on Education