World Congress on Catholic Education

… viva papa!

Dr. Penny attended the World Congress on Catholic Education that was held in Rome. Her experience was shared on her Facebook account:  SCCS Brag Boo. Here is an excerpt from her posts. To view some great pics and video, visit https://www.facebook.com/sccs.bragbook

So today we stayed in Rome.

First the lineup to the auditorium wrapped around 4 city blocks by the time we arrived. Every time we turned a corner we thought we had reached the back of the line….I had to laugh by the fourth turn. It was unbelievable, especially for a person who avoids lines at all costs.

The 4000 of us affiliated with the congress were seated in the front half of the auditorium, then they filled the rest with local school and university students.

The Swiss guards and carabineri were everywhere….just the army guys with machine guns stayed outside the auditorium. I guess those were for piazzas and check points only.

The first 2 hours were speeches summarizing the event and an announcement from Archbishop Zani regarding new Vatican initiatives for education. Interwoven were performances by local state schools – an orchestra, choir and 2 interpretive dance troupes.

Then, people suddenly jumped up and there was a roar – viva papa!

He said a prepared speech and then was greeted by several school reps. Then 3 reps asked him questions to which he spontaneously answered. That’s when his charm came out, and the real messages brought home.

He encouraged us to “go to the supberbs” figuratively and otherwise….reach out to those in need….the educational pact is broken – after all why are so many children receiving substandard or no education at all when states offer it for free?….and go back to your schools and teach them about the works of mercy. There are three types to education: heart, mind and hands. You can change the world for the better if children do works informed by their minds and hearts.

Then it all came to a close. He blessed us and left amidst more excitement. The Swiss guards flung open the doors. And the congress has officially ended.

We fly home tomorrow with the other Canadians from Edmonton, Nfld and winnipeg. Thanks for all your prayers!

See you Monday!