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2013-09-13 11:49

As a boy I was terrified of teachers: I thought they came from a different terrestrial planet, sent to terrify and control small humans. Over the last few years I have been invited to speak at Catholic headteachers' conferences and staff in-service days and have always enjoyed these events, meeting up with so many dedicated people, all from the planet Earth.
Catholic schools attract a large variety of teachers and support staff, many of them non-Catholics, some from other faiths and none. All of them, however, are required to uphold the values of the Catholic faith and maintain the Catholic character of the school. For some new members of staff this might seem a bewildering prospect, something I noticed in talking to teachers around the country.

I decided to commission a book, How to Survive Working in a Catholic School, one that would be a real help to everyone working in a Catholic school. Who better to write it than two very experienced Catholic educators, Sister Judith Russi, SSMN, and Raymond Friel? They did a wonderful job, and the book is beautifully designed by Jeni Carew.
This book deals with many issues that might cause concern including "What is the Catholic Church all about?"; "What is a Catholic school and how is it different?"; "Catholic Social Teaching"; plus preparing services and a practical guide about how to address members of the clergy. Written in accessible language, top tips, reflections and discussion points, this book, I believe, will help allay some of the concerns people might have about working in a Catholic school.

The book has an Imprimatur from Bishop Philip Egan and a Foreword by Bishop Malcolm McMahon, OP, who wrote:
"By helping them understand that each person, young or old, is a child of God and precious in his sight, this excellent book will help priests, governors, teachers and parents to understand their role in supporting our Catholic schools and their mission."Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP, Chairman of the Catholic Education Service.
I really do hope that this new book will serve as faithful companion to everyone who works in a Catholic school - they deserve it.

Fr Denis McBride C.Ss.R.

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