Selecting Pope Francis as the Person of the Year was “an excellent and visionary move” by Time Magazine, according to the National Catholic Educational Association, which named the Holy Father as Educator of the Year.
The NCEA --- a national organization representing professionals serving at all levels of Catholic education --- pointed to the Holy Father’s tremendous commitment to catechesis and evangelization, his “great leadership and support,” and his commitment to Catholic education.
Writing in Evangelii Gaudium, his apostolic exhortation issued last November, Pope Francis recognized Catholic schools and colleges for their good work and the important role they have in countering secularization.
According to the Holy Father, “We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data --- all treated as being of equal importance — which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values (EG, n. 64).”
Again and again, he continued, “the Church has acted as a mediator in findÙing solutions to problems affecting peace, social harmony, the land, the defense of life, human and civil rights, and so forth. And how much good has been done by Catholic schools and uniÙversities around the world! This is a good thing (EG, n. 65).”