The vision for what was formerly known as Trinity and All Saints College was one of transformation of lives through education which would be informed by faith.
It is important that this vision of love is lived out in all aspects of what we do as much as possible so that the values become our core reason for existence rather than something which is added on.
The logo of the University which includes the three stars representing the Holy Trinity is a sign of the three persons that co-exist in one God. The perfect unity of these persons is assured in the model of the Trinity and this can subsequently inform the intersection between education, the person in their own right and the society in perfect harmony.
This mission continues today at the Main Campus (Horsforth) and will also continue to be lived out in all areas of the core business of the University’s academic portfolio, the student experience, the people strategy and in the behaviours that are expected by the staff and by the students as they pursue their academic and career goals at Leeds Trinity. The Catholic mission and foundational values of Leeds Trinity will also be made more visible on the new Leeds City Campus in Leeds as well as continue to be enhanced on the Main Campus (Horsforth) site.
Professor Charles Egbu joined by Bishop of Leeds, Rt Rev Marcus Stock
Catholic Social Teaching
In order to fully embrace its Catholic Mission, Leeds Trinity must continue to deliver high-quality education to all students, celebrate the unique gifts and talents (and individual dignity) of everyone who interacts with the University - as per the foundational principle of Catholic Social Teaching concerning human dignity - as well as developing graduates who are equipped to look at the world and see where they can make an impact and engage - filled with the hope that their education at Leeds Trinity can help them to humanise a fractured world.
When we speak of the Catholic mission of the University, it is to embrace the love of God and pour it out of our hearts into that of others so that they may feel empowered to do more good in the world themselves. The whole point of Leeds Trinity’s foundation was to widen access to skills and expertise that students needed to carve out positive futures – including for those who may not have believed that they could become teachers or even get into higher education.
Today, most universities have a widening participation agenda and are keen to open access to education for those who might not otherwise have believed that they could be given the opportunity to do a degree. Catholic universities have played this role for a very long time. In fact, their very nature and foundation in the faith mean that there is a requirement and an expectation that they will use their faith to make a difference in the world.
In our world which is marked by the rapid developments in technology in particular, we need to take time to reflect on the implications of this change for societies, for universities and for communities that are vulnerable in some way – in short, we need to keep hold of what is truly human.
Finally, it is also useful to remember that Catholic universities have a task to spread the word of the Gospel too. There was a social mission to the Gospel, and Jesus also carried out work in the community not only preaching but also doing good works for the poor and the needy in society. In this respect, what we preach should also be lived out in the good works that we do in the community and in society in general. Many of the Dutch scholars point out that Jesus’ mission also included a ‘social mission’ and so we should always seek to live out in concrete actions what we would like the world to look like overall.
The Sisters of the Cross and Passion
In her early career in Manchester, the venerable Elizabeth Prout was very keen to address issues of poverty and societal deprivation that led to conditions of living that were unacceptable and sub-standard. Today, she continues to be venerated by the Catholic Church in part because of her mission, which is lived out in the Cross and Passion Order, of providing education and skills for those who are most vulnerable in society. This mission for education for women in particular continued throughout her life. The fact that Leeds Trinity University retained the name of the female college (Trinity College) as the link to its foundational heritage in 1966 is significant because it enables us to feel linked in mind and spirit to the heart of the mission of the cross and passion order.
The Sisters of the Cross and Passion (link opens in a new tab) continue to be represented on the University’s Board of Governors and their mission has recently been re-articulated for the University in a way that encapsulates the diverse communities which Leeds Trinity University continues to serve whilst also embodying the need to read the ‘signs of the times’ which the Second Vatican Council stressed as part of its opening statement in the Conciliar document Gaudium et Spes (1965) Gaudium et spes (vatican.va).
The mission, as articulated by the Cross and Passion order, is as follows:
- learn Respect for Self and Others
- learn the meaning of an inclusive community which celebrates difference and acknowledges mutual interdependence
- develop a love of learning and appreciation of their talents
- read the signs of the times and respond to the crying needs of the world today
- share their gifts and resources in a spirit of compassion for the building of a more just world
The woman who said yes
Discover more about Elizabeth Prout, Foundress of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion.
Beyond The Dark Clouds Podcast
Rehumanising a world of post-pandemic volatility is a theme running through our free online lecture series, Beyond The Dark Clouds, which sees lectures from UK and international contributors including a former government minister, centred around justice in contested issues such as the police, law enforcement, business ethics, spirituality, the arts and more. The title is drawn from ‘dark clouds over a closed world’, a phrase used by Pope Francis in his 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti.