Catholic Schools Keep Our Community Strong
January 29, 2016 | posted by Marti West, Superintendent of Catholic Schools
When St. Paul describes the gifts God has given the church, he includes teaching among one of the most important (1 Cor 12:28). No surprise there. “Go teach!” was the final mandate of Jesus (Mt 28:20.)
During the week of January 31 – February 6, 2016, Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of San Antonio will joyously celebrate the gift of a Catholic school education with open houses, service projects, school spirit days, and special liturgies to thank parishioners, volunteers, teachers and staff. National Catholic Schools Week is filled with enthusiasm and pride of how we are inspired to be “Communities of faith, knowledge and service.”
Catholic schools are an unquestioned success in every way: spiritually, academically and communally. It is our prayer for students in our schools to emerge as lifelong practitioners of their faith. Catholic education promotes a lifelong commitment to faith and virtue, a high sense of social justice, greater numbers of religious vocations and embraces a way of life based on responsible stewardship. Consistently, Catholic School graduates have been, are and will be our leaders in church and society. In our mission to teach the fullness of God’s truths and embed our Catholic faith in every aspect of the educational experience, we collectively live in communion with the Church.
The academic strength of Catholic schools is undeniable. The knowledge transmitted in our Catholic schools is done in an environment filled with moral values and the practice of faith, and its test scores and achievements rival the alternatives. However, educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all (Aristotle.)
Catholic schools lead with the heart, helping to form citizens who are bold believers in the way they live out what is most noble in our American identity. In every Catholic school, students put their faith into action in a multitude of service opportunities. Each individual school’s charism is unique and the driving force to help students become who God has created them to be. Pope Francis tells us, “Do not be content with a mediocre Christian life, walk with determination along the path of holiness.”
Let’s unite and celebrate as we promote our schools for the 21st century during National Catholic Schools Week. Together we need to be boldly proud of our Catholic schools’ proven ability to evangelize to all our students whose hope for success lies in an education that makes them responsible, loving, and merciful citizens.
While there may be alternatives to Catholic education, there are NO substitutes.
To locate a school near you visit www.sacatholicschools.org.
This article originally appeared in the San Antonio Express News' Faith section on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016.