Focusing, welcoming and involving

13/11/2020

Letter from Pope Francis to Most Reverend 
Father Pedro AGUADO CUESTA 
General Father of the Order of the Poor Regular Clerics
 of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools

Reverend Father:

I welcome your invitation to the event promoted by the Union of General Superiors and the International Union of Superiors General on the challenge of rebuilding the global educational pact which, on the occasion of the pandemic, will be held online on November 12-14. I greet those responsible for the various Institutes of Consecrated Life who will participate and all those who make this seminar possible.

Consecrated Life has always been at the forefront of the educational task. An example of this is your founder, St. Joseph Calasanz, who built the first school for children, but also the religious who educated him in Estadilla and much ear­lier the medieval monasteries that preserved and disseminated classical culture. From this strong root, different charisms have emerged in all times of history that, by God's gift, have been able to accommodate to the needs and challenges of each time and place. Today the Church calls you to renew that purpose from your own identity, and I thank you for taking this witness with so much commitment and enthusiasm.

As you know there are seven essential commitments in the global educa­tion pact being promoted. Seven commitments I want to synthesize into three specific lines of action: focusing, welcoming and involving.

To focus on what is important is to put the person at the center, on "his val­ue, his dignity, to make his own specificity, his beauty, his uniqueness and, at the same time, his ability to relate to others and to the reality that surrounds him". To value the person, it makes education a means for our children and young people to grow and mature, acquiring the skills and resources necessary to build together a future of justice and peace. It is imperative that the objective be not lost of sight and dissipates in the media, projects and structures. We work for people, they are the ones who form societies, and these are the ones that structure a single human­ity, called by God to be their People of choice.

To achieve this, welcoming is necessary. This means listening to each oth­er, the recipients of our service, children and young people. It implies that par­ents, students and authorities - main agents of education - listen to other types of sounds, which are not simply those of our educational circle. This will prevent them from closing in their own self-referentiality and will make them to be open to the cry that springs from every human being and from creation. It is neces­sary to encourage our children and young people to learn to relate, to work as a group, to have an empathetic attitude that rejects the culture of discarding. It is also important that they learn to safeguard our common home, protecting it from the exploitation of their resources, adopting more sober lifestyles and seeking the integral use of renewable and respectful energies of the human and natural envi­ronment, in compliance with the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity and the circular economy.

The last line of action is decisive: involving. The attitude of listening, de­fined in all these commitments, cannot be understood as mere listening and for­getting, but must be a platform that allows everyone to actively engage in this educational work, each from his own specificity and responsibility. Involving and involving ourselves implies working to give children and young people the oppor­tunity to see this world that we leave to them in inheritance with a critical eye, able to understand the problems in the field of economics, politics, growth and prog­ress, and to propose solutions that are truly at the service of man and the whole human family in the perspective of a comprehensive ecology.

Dear Brothers: I accompany with my prayers the efforts of all the Institutes represented at this event, and of all consecrated persons and lay people working in the field of education, asking the Lord who, as he has always been, also at this historical moment consecrated Life is an essential part of the global educational pact. I entrust you to the Lord, and I ask God to bless you and may the Holy Virgin take care of you.

In addition, please do not forget to pray for me.

Fraternally,

Rome, St. John Lateran, 15 October 2020