26). Catholic education aims not only to communicate facts but also to transmit a coherent, comprehensive vision of life, in the conviction that the truths contained in that vision liberate students in the most profound meaning of human freedom. Christiaan Alting von Geusau It emphasises the centrality of Jesus Christ in the Catholic school and invites schools to provide for children and young people “structured opportunities of encounter with Jesus”. All the early Jesuits needed to be educated and given religious direction so that they would be able to be of service. Instead, he found a deeper more satisfying and more authentic feeling of joy when he contemplated the lives of the Saints and the stories of the Gospels.So Ignatius decided he wanted to serve God, but also discovered that if he really wanted to be of any value, that he needed to be educated. Catholic education was built upon the Church’s mission to encourage students to live the gospel, evangelize, and encourage them to live an authentic life that will lead them to heaven. This excerpt originally appeared as an Acton Commentary.  It is reprinted here with permission of the Acton Institute. These objectives are:  to provide an environment in which students are enabled to build and deepen their relationship with God;  to foster an academic culture aimed at the pursuit of truth;  and to actively promote growth in virtue. What is the role of our schools within the greater patterning of our society and its evolution, and do our schools provide our children with the foundation they need in order to thrive? The principle of human dignity also has implications for education.  Firstly, because education cannot be separated from the formation of the human person and the development of his vocation — whether secular or religious — restricting basic freedom in education is a restriction on freedom of conscience, the rights of parents and the freedom of religion more generally.  Unduly restricting freedom in education and imposing the state's conception of education on all families would be to subordinate the person to society.  In this respect, the right to religious freedom is paramount in the Church's social teaching.  People should not be forced to act contrary to their religious convictions (Dignitatis humanae, no. They are successful precisely because by their mission and foundation they are dedicated to human flourishing, and they hold as a promise in every dimension of their activities the conviction that each human life has a unique destiny in the eyes of God. But I also think that we have to acknowledge that the cultural conditions at the moment mean that many of our young people come to University needing a great deal of assistance from us.Here are few thoughts to consider:• According to a recent major study by UCLA involving 227 colleges and universities, more than half of college students say they have experienced “overwhelming anxiety” in the past year. Learning about the religion and cultures of those who do not share the Catholic faith is For those of you who are familiar with the culture and language of the Society of Jesus you may be familiar with the phrase — the magis — which means, “the more.”  It is attributed to St. Ignatius although he never used the phrase in this way. What is really being proposed by secularist movements is that the pupil should replace whatever god he believes in with the secular god. excerpted from Catholic Education in the West:  Roots, Reality and Revival (September 25, 2013). Our society as a whole benefits when our young people are formed within this framework of understanding. The relationship between Catholic education and the state has taken a variety of forms in different countries and at different times in history.  However, the "signs of the times" in which we need to think about the application of Catholic social teaching to public policy in education include as perhaps their most prominent feature a major decline in religious practice and a general indifference towards religion, especially in the upper echelons of Western political systems.  At the same time, however, there has been a greater recognition in many countries that, for both practical reasons and reasons of principle, parents should have greater autonomy when choosing schools.  Expanding opportunities to choose schools, however, have often been accompanied by more extensive regulation of schools. I was happy as a scholar and teacher at Georgetown, and yet there was a clear need for more Jesuits in administrative positions throughout the network of 28 Jesuit colleges and Universities in the United States, and Fordham at that time was emerging from a difficult period. It is at this point that the primary importance of what we would call "virtue-oriented" formation becomes visible. I thank you for your support for Catholic schools.Thank you for listening! What a pleasure and an honor it is to have been asked to speak with you all today on a subject for which we all share a great passion and commitment — the advancement of Catholic schools and education.My own journey through Catholic education has led me into higher education and to Fairfield University — a Jesuit University of about 4000 undergraduates and 1500 graduate students in Fairfield, Connecticut where I am privileged to serve as President. 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