A letter from Archbishop Tartaglia:
At this time of year we traditionally reflect on the importance of education – particularly education in and through faith – for young people. This year, in considering the theme “Proclaiming the Joy of the Gospel”, you are asked to respond to the appeal which Pope Francis has made in his Apostolic Exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ (The Joy of the Gospel).
In that document, the Holy Father reminds us that “the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.”
He is well aware of the difficulties of living a life of faith today. He understands the challenges, the temptations and the distractions faced by young people and families. He is aware of the need for the Church to support you and care for you, to guide you and counsel you, to offer you example and leadership.
We believe that, in Jesus, we see the love of God for each of us – a love which cares, guides, heals and forgives. A love which promises eternal happiness with God, if we respond to the Lord’s call to be a disciple, to follow his way, to go out and joyfully proclaim the Gospel.
Some of us are called to do this as priests, ordained in a ministry of service to the people of God. Others are called to proclaim the Gospel in our friendships and in our working lives by being faithful to God’s commandments in how we conduct our lives.
Many more are called to do this as parents, committed to providing their children with loving support and an upbringing which is enriched by our faith tradition, at home and in school.
In all of these areas of mission, each of us is asked to focus on how “joyfully” we proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are invited to let others see how being Christian is not a burden or a source of embarrassment for us but, rather, something beautiful and enriching in our lives, something which is good for the world.
Today I make a particular appeal. We need people to come forward to become teachers in Catholic schools. We urge you to see the wonderful opportunities which a career in Teaching offers – to help others, to develop their talents, to inspire them towards success, to guide them to know and celebrate their faith in Jesus.
We urge school students to give serious consideration to Teaching as an option when applying for University. We ask University students to consider completing a postgraduate qualification in Education so that they can teach in primary or secondary schools. We urge parents, grandparents and teachers to encourage young people to research Teaching as a serious career option.
Only with sufficient numbers of committed Catholic teachers, will our young people be able to know the joy of the Gospel and to proclaim it through their lives.
Yours devotedly in Christ,
X Philip Tartaglia
Archbishop of Glasgow
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
Scottish Catholic Education Service