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Catholic High SchoolsFacing the New Realities$
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James L. Heft

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199796656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199796656.001.0001

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The Mission: Moral and Religious Formation

The Mission: Moral and Religious Formation

(p.61) 4 The Mission: Moral and Religious Formation
Catholic High Schools

James L. Heft S.M.

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores three issues: first, how the leaders of public schools have largely abandoned the teaching of religion but have worked at moral formation, and the difficulties they've encountered in that effort; second, the critical importance of personal example in learning morality; and third, why the leaders of Catholic schools have an advantage over their public counterparts, since they, carrying out the work of moral formation, can draw explicitly upon a rich religious tradition that includes a doctrinal framework and religious and moral practices. It begins with a few notes from history that will provide some perspective on how, for a very long time, religious and moral education remained intimately linked. It then looks at some of the difficulties public schools face when they try to provide character education and moral formation. Finally, it describes doctrinal dimensions and various practices of Catholicism and how they help Catholic schools provide rich moral and religious formation.

Keywords:   Catholic schools, public schools, moral education, moral formation, character education, Catholicism

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