The Role of Catholic Education in Fostering Students’ Faith in God

Jonathan Doyle Speaking infront of Catholic Education Students Teachers and Educators

Welcome to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. Today, Jonathan emphasizes the vital role of igniting students’ desire for God in Catholic education. Drawing from St. Bernard and Montessori, he urges educators to foster this spiritual longing amidst modern distractions. Join Jonathan in guiding students toward a lifelong journey of faith. Tune in for inspiration on nurturing the transformative power of Catholic education.

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    Welcome Aboard: Igniting Hearts in Catholic Education

    Jonathan Doyle During his Speech on Catholic Education in the Diocese of Lismore
    Jonathan Doyle during his speech in the Diocese of Lismore

    In this episode, Jonathan Doyle shares insights on Catholic education and empowers educators to ignite the hearts of students with a profound desire for a relationship with God. 

    Hey there, my friend Jonathan Doyle is with you once again. Welcome aboard to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast, wherever you’re listening in the world. We are going to do a short episode today. Yesterday, at the end of that recording, I just went, Oh, Lord, glory. That’s like almost half an hour.

    So if you got to listen to yesterday’s episode, I hope you got a lot out of it. We went pretty deep yesterday. So today I thought we would have a reprieve and get you back out there into the kingdom of God, doing the amazing vocational work that you do with a shorter episode. Pray for me, friends.

    Let’s hope that I can keep it short. I get excited. I get excited talking to you. There’s a lot that I want to share. So housekeeping as always, please make sure you’ve subscribed to the podcast, and all the links that you need are going to be floating around here somewhere. Instagram:
    @jdoylespeaks, and the website is

    Catholic Educator’s Reflection: The Heart's Desire for God

    Donation of Heart to God with the help of Catholic Education

    All right, today. I’ve got a really interesting quote from St. Bernard, a Commentary on the Song of Songs from St. Bernard. So yesterday I think I spoke a lot about prayer, and so up early this morning I had a time of prayer. As I said in yesterday’s episode, we quoted something from Joseph about just creating this time in the morning as a sacred place and space where you can reconnect to who you are and really reconnect to the presence of God in your life. And that’s exactly what I did this morning. God is faithful, and there’s just a beautiful scripture and a little reflection here that just jumped out. I thought of you guys. So that’s a part of a longer quote, but it just says this.

    “It is not with the steps of the feet that God is sought. But with the heart's desire.” 

    As I was praying to that this morning and I thought of you guys, I thought I wanted to say to you that one of the most powerful, important, and beautiful things that you can do as a Catholic educator is to simply create or increase the desire in the hearts of young people for a relationship with God. 

    Montessori Approach in Connection to Catholic Education and Faith Formation

    Now you could be; when it gets a little, they were doing the catechesis of the good shepherd. Some of you may have heard of that. It’s based on the work of a Montessori approach, the work of Maria. A beautiful way of taking very young children through faith, formation, and catechesis. It’s very hands-on, and very beautiful. But a big part of that approach is to give children and students a desire for the things of God—a desire to know more about Jesus. There are so many ways that great Catholic education primary or elementary school teachers can increase the desire for knowledge of Christ by portraying Christ as a figure worthy of our interest and emulation.

    Instilling Catholic Knowledge and Importance of Desire for God

    There’s a quote that I often use in seminars with Catholic education teachers all around the world. He wrote it in 1953. It’s a long quote, but the essence of it is that if we can get our students to leave our schools, with the knowledge of Christ in their lives and a desire to know more about him. They’re not going to come to much harm.

    He said, If we haven’t given them that, all other excellence won’t do them much good. So there’s a lot to say to people. It doesn’t matter if we get every single student into a Harvard MBA program. If they leave our schools with no desire for the things of God or for a relationship with God, then listen to this quote again from St. Bernard: It is not with the steps of the feet that God is sought, but with the heart’s desire.

    Encouragement for Catholic Educators and Teachers

    Children and Student in a Catholic Education Program

    So I want to encourage you today to do the smallest things that you can to raise awareness in the hearts of young people about that desire for God and the way that I used to do it when I was teaching full-time. I would really double down on exposing them to silence, to stillness, to quiet, and taking them to school chapel.

    I remember once hiring a bus and taking our kids with me to a botanical garden, and prepared this activity for them, where they could just sit in nature. Pray through a few ideas about how to deepen a relationship with God. So, my friends, what can you do today? In some small or large way, you can help your students increase their desire for God. Because if you can help build that desire, then it can be there for a lifetime, continue to grow, and continue to be a blessing.

    Catholic Education's Role in Fostering Spiritual Growth Beyond Cultural Influences

    Young Students Technology and Catholic Education Contrast

    Some of my friends play that way. Say that you understand that what you’re doing is incredibly important work. If you can create that little flame of desire or do something to fan that flame of desire, again, I think one of the ways you can do this is that I’m really convinced that in many ways, current technocratic culture, especially as it impacts young people in terms of social media, the desire for belonging, the desire for intervening, and the desire for connection and intimacy, but with all the damage and harm that’s being caused to them through social media.

    I think we should give them a desire for something that transcends all of that. Something outside and beyond and above that system of utilitarian technocratic control that runs so much of their lives. hunger and desire for the transcendentals of truth, beauty, goodness, and virtue.

    Continuing the Mission in Catholic Education

    Jonathan Doyle Speaking to Catholic Education Teachers and Students
    Jonathan Doyle speaking to Catholic Educators

    There’s so much that you can do in the little ways that you are called to in your daily vocation. So be encouraged, my friend. Let us continue to desire, to increase the desire of our students for a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the church, which he established.

    All right, please make sure you’ve subscribed. Go check out all the links. Instagram: @jdoylespeaks; website:

    If you want to get in touch, find out more about how you can book me to speak. And other things that I do are all there. God bless you. My friend’s name is Jonathan Doyle. This is the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. You and I are going to talk 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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