The values which inspire our work and inform the ethos and decision-making in our schools are the values of the Gospel, based on the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 5: 1-11). These values are presented to the school community at assemblies and liturgies and explored throughout the working week in the classroom. When we come to celebrate achievement in the school, we recognize first and foremost those who have witnessed to Gospel values, as well as recognising excellence in other areas.
The Beatitudes, according to the Catechism, “...depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity.” In a very moving way, they sum up the essence of the transformed human being God calls us all to be in Jesus. These are the kind of persons and actions that are ‘blessed’ by God, this is the ‘job description’ of people living in God’s kingdom, as opposed to the world’s kingdom of selfishness, inequality, aggression, materialism and violence. They challenge each generation to reflect on what persons and actions they consider to be important or blessed.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Gospel value: Humility, seeing life as a gift
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”
Gospel value: Compassion, empathy
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”
Gospel value: Kindness, gentleness
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”
Gospel value: Justice, working for a fairer world
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”
Gospel value: Forgiveness, reconciliation
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”
Gospel value: Integrity, do what you say
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”
Gospel value: Peace, committed to peacemaking, non-violence
“Blessed are those who are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Gospel value: Courage, standing up for truth.
At St Joseph's we are not only integrating these values into the liturgical life of the school but we are also trying to incorporate them into the curriculum itself, so that we offer an education to our children ‘in the light of the Gospel’.