My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are the most fortunate of people because we have faith in Jesus Christ.
I constantly meet people who tell me that at times of crisis, of difficulty, of darkness, it was their faith that gave them an inner strength and enabled them to survive and come through to the other side.
This year’s theme for Catholic Education Week is Pilgrims of Faith. For that is what we are. We are pilgrims on a journey, and it is our faith which guides us and enables us to steer our way on that journey through life.
Our faith in God is not something superficial in our lives, it is something deep and, like ballast in a boat, it helps steady us in stormy seas.
In this Catholic Education Week, we should give thanks to those who have helped educate faith, and those who continue to educate us, for our faith education is never complete.
As Pilgrims of Faith, we know that Catholic education is not just the imparting of facts or the communication of knowledge. Catholic education helps us see the presence of God in our lives.
And in doing so it seeks to open up to all of us the vision of the meaning and purpose of life.
And the vision that our faith gives us is broad and open, not petty, and narrow.
As Pilgrims of Faith, we know that we do not make the journey on our own. Our faith unites us not only to God but also to others. And our faith urges us not just to get close to God ourselves but also to spread the faith to others so that they too can see God’s presence in their lives.
As we thank God for those who have educated us in the faith, we pray for those who today dedicate their lives to educating others, particularly the young.
As Pilgrims of Faith, we benefit from Catholic education which seeks to help us understand our faith. But we recognise that understanding our faith is a constant challenge, since God is beyond our understanding. A pilgrim of faith is a pilgrim constantly seeking a clearer vision of God.
We are the most fortunate of people – we have faith in Jesus Christ. How fortunate we are to have that faith to guide us on our pilgrimage through life.
Yours devotedly in Christ,
+ William Nolan
Archbishop of Glasgow, Bishop President of Education