Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has said that schools should have regular periods of Eucharistic Adoration, contemplative prayer and lectio divina in order to help pupils from Year 5 upwards to “build up a personal relationship with Jesus.”

In a pastoral letter read out in churches last weekend, Bishop Egan said every Catholic school should be “a centre of prayer, ideally with a chapel and a chaplain”. It comes after the bishop visited all 76 Catholic schools in his diocese.

The bishop said that whether the school was “independent, voluntary aided, free or academy”, the “entire curriculum should be so centred on Christ that all teaching and learning and all subject areas, especially the sciences and humanities, become interrelated and unified in him.”

The bishop also highlighted the need for practical action, acknowledging a current shortage of places in Catholic schools, and the need to attract talented people to the teaching profession.

Bishop Egan said: “We need to be innovative, to find new ways of attracting staff, encouraging our young to become teachers.”

He said: “St Paul sees teaching as a God-given vocation, something we see in the inspiring teachers we have today. So today after Mass, or when you next visit the Blessed Sacrament, please remember to pray for more vocations.”

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