Catholic Schools Week: A Look Back.
By Tom Heding, President of Meitler Consulting
Last week, we celebrated Catholic Schools Week throughout the nation. Each Catholic school took time to share the special gifts of their ministry throughout their communities. There were various activities and Eucharistic liturgies throughout the week to proclaim the fact that “Catholic schools are schools you can believe in!”
I can’t help but feel proud of the wonderful contributions our schools make to the Church and their local communities. I am also proud of the deep commitment of all who administrate, teach, and work in our schools and who truly put children first and strive to engage parents, families and parish communities in the lives of their children. It is their dedication and expertise that bring to light the value of Catholic schools.
First and foremost, the great value of our schools is the faith dimension of a Catholic school education. As part of the educational and evangelizing life of parishes and the Church, a Catholic school enables students to learn about their God, live out their faith sacramentally and in service, and discover who they are within the wider Catholic community they live in. In this way, the school fully participates in its mission “to teach as Jesus did.”
We are all aware of additional value our Catholic schools bring to students, their families and the world in which they live and learn:
- a high quality academic experience where students can succeed now and in their future,
- an opportunity to grow and learn five days a week in a Spirit-filled environment that allows our schools to stand apart,
- engaging parents and families in the education, spiritually and academically of their children
- creating an atmosphere of caring, challenge, diversity, respect, integrity with a genuine sense of vision and purpose,
- appreciation for and living out of the moral teachings of the Church each day to elicit an entirely different “peer pressure” within the school community,
- the advantage of growing with other students and families who share strong Christian values,
- experiencing a sense of belonging, an identity within the Catholic/Christian community a genuine sense of worth and esteem,
- integrate a sense of social justice by developing an attitude of responsibility to those less fortunate through Christian service.
This is what our Catholic schools are about and why we need to celebrate not just Catholic Schools Week, but celebrate who we are every day of the year.