Sixty educators from India and Bangladesh gathered at Holy Cross Provincial House in Agartala, India, from November 7-10 for a three-day conference entitled “(Re) Visioning the Holy Cross Education for the 21st Century”. Organized by the Holy Cross Educational Foundation, the conference brought together Holy Cross educators in the context of the emerging paradigm shift that has been evolving in the field of Education due to the accelerated changes in communication technology, political ideology, environment, global ethos, and developmental constructs across the globe.
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Br. Prodip Placid Gomes, C.S.C., Second General Assistant, inaugurated the conference and exhorted the delegates to root themselves in the tradition and charism of Blessed Basil Moreau while exploring new possibilities to be relevant, credible, and spiritual in our educational ministry.
Following Br. Gomes, there were a series of eminent educators, both religious and lay, who shared their expertise on pertinent skills for educating in the 21st century. The topics were wide and diverse to address the complex realities facing the ministry of education today.
A keynote was given by Dr. Vincent Darlong, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies at Martin Luther Christian University in Shillong, who spoke on “Reimagining Holy Cross Educational Roadmap for Healthy Learning Environment for Whole Child Education and Skilling for the 21st Century Aspirational Society.”
The Holy Cross religious who presented were Fr. Paul Pudussery, C.S.C., who spoke on the how and the why of any revision, Fr. Roy Thalacakn, C.S.C., who presented insights from Blessed Basile Moreau into a Catholic education, and Fr. Biju Thomas, C.S.C., who addressed collective leadership from a Holy Cross perspective.
During group work and general sessions, the delegates explored how Holy Cross educators can root themselves in the core values of the Gospel and our call to be educators in the faith. The detailed and purposeful deliberations enabled a deeper understanding of the good, the worrisome, and the ambiguous nature of the new narrative in education today. At the same time, it allowed the Holy Cross educators to explore possibilities of helping engender a better world by “educating the heart and mind” of the students.