Catholic Identity & Faith Information

“The mission of Catholic education is to bring souls to Christ and offer a true encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the primary purpose of our 42 parish-parochial schools and four high schools, spread throughout the 14 counties of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Our mission is accomplished through order and expression of Catholic wisdom that permeates all subject matter. Studies such as mathematics, sciences, arts, language and literature convey the mind of God and the order of all creation, just as the study of theology. A Catholic education calls us to faith, reason, and understanding - as God wills us to understand. Faith is an encounter that engenders hope and inspires charity.”

Although the Catholic Identity of a school is often associated with the identifiable characteristics of the physical environment (e.g., crucifixes in each classroom), focus on Catholic teachings, prayers and celebrations (e.g., religion classes, School Masses, daily School prayers, Eucharistic adoration, and service projects), it is through the Liturgical Season that we celebrate the entire mystery of Christ and realize our Catholic Identity. As part of that celebration, we have liturgical choirs at all three campuses, including bell choirs in grades 5-8, so that children learn about the liturgical seasons. Each week we have Liturgical singing practice where children learn the Mass and music appropriate to each season. We also participate in Pueri Cantores as a means of giving students another opportunity to have liturgical experience.

The Liturgical Season determines our celebra­tions and studies at Mishawaka Catholic and connects faith and reason in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. It informs our approach to learning, and more importantly, how we live our lives. A strong school Catholic Identity will permeate the entire culture of the school and will be readily apparent to all who enter it.

The development of a strong Catholic Identity
for a Catholic school requires a partnership of
all constituents, but the Principal and teachers play a fundamental and crucial role. Their importance is certainly well delineated in the new Catholic School Standards for Accreditation. These standards benchmark their responsibilities including their own religious education and preparation, the teaching of all subjects through the lenses of Scripture and Catholic Intellectual tradition, involvement of students in communal and liturgical prayers, and commitment of all in activities for social justice.

The Mishawaka Catholic School faculty and support staff is fully engaged in their ministry of Catholic educations. They participate in regular prayer and are called to reflect on their own spiritual journey and to have a time for reflection on the ministry of Catholic education and their role as faith models and active practicing Catholics. Throughout the year our teachers of religion participate in the Diocesan Catechetical classes. Although a number of our teachers are certified catechists, MCS is committed to all teachers, not just teachers of religion, participating in the learning opportunities provided by the diocese. We consider all faculty and staff to be faith models for our students. Our secretarial staff prepare campus bulletin boards reflecting our Catholic values and our cafeteria staff prepare recipes from the Catholic Relief Services “Rice Bowl” meals for tasting by students during Lent. It is our intention and expectation that ALL members of the MCS staff have an opportunity to participate in the faith journey.

The current Mission and Vision statements for Mishawaka Catholic School were developed and approved by the Interim School Board by integrating the common themes of the missions and visions of the parochial schools. Although the MCS Mission and Vision statements are relatively recent (approved in 2011) and met the needs of the School during the initial years of the consoli¬≠dation, they require updating to better articulate the Catholic Identity of Mishawaka Catholic as well as involving a broader range of stakeholders. Ultimately, Mishawaka Catholic is identified as a Catholic School not by its name but by its degree of commitment to be a faith community learning and living in Christ. A strong Catholic Identity well prepares our children for a lifetime of learning, to be good stewards of God’s gifts, and to serve others. Our ultimate goal is to form disciples of Jesus Christ.

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