The Educational Aspects of the Missions in the Southwest

The Educational Aspects of the Missions in the Southwest

The Educational Aspects of the Missions in the Southwest

The Educational Aspects of the Missions in the Southwest

Excerpt

The charter for all Catholic educational institutions is the command of Christ: "Going therefore, teach ye all nations . . . and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." It is because of this commission of Christ to the apostles and their successors that there is a history of Christian education. To whatever part of the earth the apostles might penetrate as the centuries rolled by they were bound to discharge this obligation laid upon them. The command applies primarily to religious and moral instruction, but it necessarily applies to every phase of education because nothing that is contrary to Christian religious teaching and morality can be tolerated by the Church. Hence the Church has the right to supervise all phases of the education of those who belong to her fold.

That the Church has ever manifested an interest in education is attested by the history of Christian schools in all epochs of the Christian era. Under her fostering care schools of every type have sprung up in all countries to which the message of the Gospel has been carried by duly commissioned teachers, the successors of the apostles. In no two periods of history and in no two countries of the world does the Church carry out her mission in an exactly identical manner. She adapts herself to every age and clime without ever sacrificing an iota of the fundamental principles. It is this freedom in nonessentials and unity in essentials which makes the history of Catholic education in each country a distinctive thing.

In the history of our own land the Church at one time made use of a particular medium through which Christian education was to be carried on, namely, the mission system as developed in the Spanish dependencies. It is the purpose of this study to show that the missions were eminently fitted in their time and place to discharge the functions of Chris-

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