Since July 2022, the European Committee for Catholic Education (CEEC) has a new General Secretary. His name is Louis-Marie Piron and he comes from the French Catholic Education organisation (on the picture on the left next to his predecessor Guy Selderslagh). As CEEC is also one of CoGREE’s member organisations, Louis-Marie Piron also joins the CoGREE team. We invite you to get to know him a little better through this interview.
Louis-Marie, could you briefly introduce yourself?
I am originally from the west of France. I am married with 4 children, aged between 21 and 29, and a grandfather of 2 little girls. I have a legal background in public law and social law. I have been a teacher in higher education institutions as well as an educator before taking over the management of various secondary schools for 16 years. Since September 2011, I have joined the General Secretariat of the French Catholic Education to develop international relations. I have also been in charge of supporting the diocesan departments in the overseas territories. Since 2012, I have represented France on the Executive Board of the CEEC and on the Council of the OIEC (International organisation of Catholic Education) for which I was treasurer for 3 years. I am also President of the editorial board of the journal Educatio which publishes scientific articles on Christian education twice a year. The latest issue is dated May and deals with the theme: “Crisis of institutions and changes in authority in schools and education” (www.revue-educatio.eu)
As new Secretary General of the CEEC, which are the major challenges for Catholic
The challenges of Catholic Education are probably to find ways to respond to the evolution of our societies, on the moral, educational and pedagogical level, as much for the proposals made to students as for the training of teachers, for example. These challenges are sometimes made more complicated by the social and legal contexts in which our structures evolve.
What specific issues or aspects of Catholic education in Europe would you like to work on in
your new position?
In order to respond to these challenges, we need to further develop cooperation between us, not in competition or opposition to the public system, but in the original expression of our Catholic specificities. In order to do this, it is essential to promote the freedom of education and to strengthen the vitality of our educational communities.
How important is cooperation with other education organisations for you?
Cooperation is an essential component of education. Pope Francis reminds us of this and invites us to do so through the Global Compact on Education. Cooperation is at the very core of education, starting with the pupil-teacher relationship where cooperation is essential to the pedagogical relationship. It is also vital between our organisations because it allows the exchange of ideas, methodologies, and experiences…
Which potential do you see in working together in CoGREE?
The issue of religion in education, which CoGREE is particularly concerned with, is an important topic for Catholic education in Europe. It is lived in various ways in different countries according to their history, culture, and the relationship between society and religion. Therefore it is a topic of discussion among the members of the CEEC. The collaboration with CoGREE allows us to deepen and better understand it.
To conclude, what motto or quote do you particularly value?
“For a true education aims at the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his ultimate end and of the good of the societies of which, as man, he is a member, and in whose obligations, as an adult, he will share.” (Gravissimum Educationis n°1)
The interview was lead by Géradline Vallée and Bianca Kappelhoff.