Cultivating Faith: The Essential Role of Catholic Teachers in Student Lives

Jonathan Doyle International Catholic Speaker

In today’s episode, Jonathan Doyle delves into the profound impact of Catholic educators on the environment of schools worldwide. He emphasizes the pivotal role of passionate, faith-driven teachers in fostering an atmosphere where Christ’s presence is palpable. Drawing on insights from Smith Wigglesworth and reflections on the resurrection, Jonathan underscores the transformative power of authentic Christian living. Join us as we explore how embodying Christ’s radiance can profoundly influence the lives of young people, inspiring them to seek Him.

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    Welcome Aboard: The Unique Vocation of Catholic Teachers

    Explore Catholic teaching: molding young minds with Christ's essence, a daily faith journey

    Well, hello there. My friend, Jonathan Doyle, is with you once again. Welcome aboard to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, going out to thousands upon thousands of Catholic teachers all over the world. I love doing this. I’m so grateful for what you are all doing every single day. What are unique, special, and precious vocations is what you have. Being the presence and the fragrance of Christ in the lives of young people on a daily basis.

    How many times have I said that to you when I was reading the church documents on Catholic education a few years ago for a series we were putting out. One of the things that always stayed with me was this idea of the environment. It was talking about the environment of a Catholic school.

    The Crucial Role of Catholic Teachers

    In Catholic schools, dedicated souls—not facilities—fuel wisdom and faith in eager minds
    In Catholic schools, dedicated souls—not facilities—fuel wisdom and faith in eager minds

    It was basically saying you can take the chairs out, you can take the desks out, you can take the computers out, you can take out everything. And if you have teachers there, if you have awesome Catholic, Holy Spirit teachers, you still have a Catholic school. But he said, you can have all the desks, all the equipment, and everything there, but if you don’t have committed Catholic teachers, you don’t have a Catholic school.

    So the environment of the school, the experience that young people are having there is so incredibly dependent on you. Like you, can we not agree that it doesn’t matter what the technology is, it doesn’t matter if we have all of the stuff. What matters is if we have people like you on fire with faith. Ready to live out that incredible vocation that God has invited you into.

    Reflecting Christ in Our Lives

    Smith Wigglesworth: Live like Christ, spread His love.
    Smith Wigglesworth: Live like Christ, spread His love.

    And to that effect, today I want to share with you a quote from Smith Wigglesworth, I’m going old school here. One of the great Norwoods. I’m going to take a risk, it’s got to be late 19th century evangelists in the United States. Smith Wigglesworth and a lot of the guys that were getting around at the same time, some incredible men and women who were just on fire with faith. I want to share this quote with you, and then we kind of pack it briefly together and get you on your way. He says this,

    "The reason the world is not seeing Jesus is that Christian people are not filled with Jesus. They are satisfied with attending meetings weekly, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying sometimes. It is an awful thing for me to see people who profess to be Christians lifeless, powerless, and in a place where their lives are so parallel to unbelievers’ lives that it is difficult to tell which place they are in, whether in the flesh or in the Spirit."

    I just think that’s a real between the eyes kind of thing. He’s reminding us that if the world doesn’t see the presence of Christ it’s because they’re not seeing Christ in believers.

    The Significance of the Resurrection

    Let our faces mirror the resurrection, the foundation of our faith, shaping hearts through the ages
    Let our faces mirror the resurrection, the foundation of our faith, shaping hearts through the ages

    Sigmund Freud famously said that I will believe in the resurrection when I can see it on the faces of Christians. By which, of course, he meant that if Christian’s genuinely believed in the resurrection, like really deeply understood and experienced the power of the resurrection, it would be really transformative. We know that’s true because it’s the greatest proof of the veracity of the Christian proper proposition is the resurrection.

    For decades, I’ve been trying to teach this to both students and teachers: that when people dispute the truth of Christian claims, it all comes back to the resurrection. Most of the great Christian thinkers of the last few hundred years have made that point very eloquently. Everything hinges on the resurrection.

    For example, if you look at the explosion of Christianity from the first century, really from around the third and fourth centuries, I mentioned this may be a couple of days ago, read Tom Holland‘s book, Dominion, to see the scope, the power and scale of how Christianity literally redesigned the planet. From the beliefs of classical antiquity into the modern period. It all hinges on the resurrection. Because you have this group of scared people—you know, the disciples who fled during the passion. Who is scattered, as the scripture says, each to their own house, suddenly found this unspeakable courage. They would just be totally fearless like death and then the martyrs of the early church—you know, these were men, women, and even children who were prepared to suffer the most terrible death because they wouldn’t deny Christ risen in the flesh.

    Living Out Christian Identity

    Christianity is more than belief; it's a radical commitment to Christ's path, shaping lives.
    Christianity is more than belief; it's a radical commitment to Christ's path, shaping lives

    So we had to remind ourselves that Christianity isn’t a value system. It’s not like just another value system in the smorgasbord of postmodern ideas. This is something very different. And it’s something that we need to remind ourselves of because, as Smith Wigglesworth says here, what the world actually wants to see is Jesus.

    If we’re going to say that we’re Christians, if we’re going to have a Christian or a Catholic school, then it’s got to be unique and different. What we have to do is at some point in our lives we have to make a decision about what claim this has on our lives.

    For me, in my genuine imperfections and failings in living the Christian life, I think I can say that it is the ground of my being, like I’ve filtered the world through a Catholic lens. I make choices, especially significant big choices in my life through that lens. I remember saying this to Karen way back in 2008, when World Youth Day in Sydney and I remember going up for communion at one of the main masses. And I just had this profound sense of my identity as being a child of God brought into the house of God through faith in the Catholic Church.

    Radiating Christ's Presence

    Radiate Christ's light; your kindness and joy can transform others.
    Radiate Christ's light; your kindness and joy can transform others

    Every single day I walk around the world glowing with the radiance of Christ so that people passing me on the street are like it just overcome with an evangelist glory, and amend their lives on the spot, but no.

    When I was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago after the accident, I remember just syncing this joy and gratitude with God’s provision for me and walking around the hospital, smiling at people. I just felt this real desire to bless people and encourage them. In some sense, I think it was kind of the presence of Christ really residing in me a little bit through his grace. And I just want to share that with people and encourage and bless them.

    So this is what we’re looking for in our schools. We need men and women who are not just as Smith Wigglesworth says attending meetings or attending mass weekly, reading the Bible occasionally and praying sometimes. And he says that we’re Christians, we don’t want to be lifeless, powerless, or in a place where our lives are so paralleled with unbelievers’ lives that it’s difficult to tell which place we are in.

    I think part of the price of admission to the Christian life is that there’s got to be something different about us friends. We have to appear a little different to the world. We have to risk offending and losing the world and the approval of the world to win the approval of Christ.

    Empowering Educators for Christ-Centered Teaching

    Radiate Christ's love in class, guiding hearts to His light
    Radiate Christ's love in class, guiding hearts to His light

    I want to give you the encouragement to go back into your classroom and ask the Lord to give you that radiance, to give you that point of difference, to give you that hunger and desire for him and more of him in your life. Because for many young people there is a good chance you’re going to have just about the only encounter with the person of Christ they’re likely to have. And you’re not meant to carry that burden because Christ will carry it. But it is our job to point young people in his direction. And one of the most profound ways we can do that is carrying his radiance, carrying his joy, and carrying his character as best we can through grace.

    Closing Remarks

    All right, my friends. God bless you. Please make sure you subscribe. Check out all the links here. You can find me on the website:, Instagram: @jdoylespeaks. On the website, you can find out how to book me to speak. You can find out all the other good stuff.

    God bless you. My friends, this has been the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. My name’s Jonathan Doyle. And I’m going to speak with you again tomorrow.

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    Jonathan Doyle


    I’m on a mission to liberate the potential of the incredible people that make up your organisation, school, or business.

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