Catholic Schools Week

31 Jan

As a dean, once a year, I visit the priests in the Southlake Deanery to discuss their ministry and to see if they are open for a new assignment.  One of the questions asked is, “Can we assume that you are unequivocally in favor of Catholic schools and willing to work with a school in a new assignment?”

You might be surprised at the answers of some of the priests.

Schools, nowadays, are often seen as a burden to a parish.  As we have less priests, schools mean more work and there are some who are not up to the challenge of supporting a Catholic school.

I believe in Catholic education.

Catholic schools give us the opportunity to provide a quality education to our parish children in a faith-based environment.

There are many things that cannot be done or taught in public schools.  In our Catholic schools, however, we are free to teach religion, to celebrate our faith by going to Mass and going to confession during Lent and Advent, to speak about moral issues, and to teach values, just to name a few.

That does not mean that we scrimp on any of the other “essentials” of schooling.  Our students receive excellent educations.  As a matter of fact, our graduates are often the valedictorians or salutatorians of their public or private high schools or colleges.  I am very proud of their achievements.

Our teachers are also dedicated to Catholic education.  They work for less pay than their public school counterparts but do so because they realize that they have more than a job.  They have a ministry.

Are our Catholic schools perfect?  Heavens, no.  No school is perfect because no person is perfect.  However, we try our hardest to provide the best education for our students while, at the same time, helping to form them to be the strongest Christians they can be.

St. Thomas More has been a leader in Catholic education in the Diocese of Gary for many decades.  I have every reason to believe that we will continue to be that strong force.  Our school is strong, our teachers are wonderful, and our administration and staff are deeply committed to Catholic education.  Because of that, our students thrive.  I am very proud of our school.

As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, we invited you to take the time this morning or Tuesday evening to visit our school and see how our Catholics School is a Community of Faith, Knowledge and Service.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for all of those who are involved in Catholic Education — faculty, administration, staff, and students.