Office of Catholic Schools

School of the Lord’s Service

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1 Introduction My deepest desire for the Archdiocese of Denver is that it become a place of vibrant discipleship through a deep encounter with Jesus Christ. Disciple- ship is not a new or innovative vision, but stems f rom Jesus' own desire for his Church, expressed in the Great Commission that he gave us before his Ascension: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matt 28:18-20). Forming disciples is the mission that Jesus gave the Catholic Church and our constant reference by which we can judge our true success. Jesus founded the Catholic Church to hand on and teach the truth that he revealed and to make us holy through the grace of the sacraments. Je- sus truly is the reason for the existence of our Catholics schools, and he wants to guide us in everything that we do. We should be able to say to everyone who comes to our schools: "Be it known to all who enter here that Christ is the reason for this school. He is the unseen but ever present teach- er in its classes. He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its stu- dents so that they may become saints." Everything that we do needs to be Christ-centered, flowing f rom him and pointing back to him. Our schools must be places to encounter Jesus; nothing is more important. What does it mean to become a disciple of Jesus Christ? It means that we have truly encountered and met Jesus as the Son of God, experienced his love and mercy personally, and have accepted him as our Lord, living in a committed and daily relationship with him. To be a disciple is to be a Chris- tian, someone who truly lives a life of faith and does everything with and through him. This f riendship means we learn f rom Jesus (Mt 11: 29). Through the sacraments and prayer, especially the prayerful reading of the Gospels, our f riendship grows which expresses our ongoing relationship with each person of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This f riendship is nur- tured at home, at school, and at our parishes. It is a life guided by the Holy Spirit, who keeps us in the truth and enables us to be faithful to the Gospel. Discipleship is crucial for growing in our true identity as a beloved son or daughter of the Father. It shows us our true dignity as made in the image and likeness of God and made for eternal happiness with him. It also helps

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