Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Catholic Schools Week!

Dear Parishioners,
We begin our annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week (January 28-February 3, 2018)

We are happy to announce that Bishop Dennis Sullivan will celebrate Mass for the school children during this week! 
I write here to share with you my belief in the importance and value of our Catholic Schools. Although this letter is addressed to all parishioners, I particularly hope that those of you who are parents of school-aged children might rethink the possibility of a Catholic school for your children.  I admit that I write with a certain bias towards a Catholic school education having attended Catholic schools for over 21 years (from kindergarten through seminary and graduate school.)  Subsequently, I had been a teacher and/or administrator in Catholic schools for 20 additional years.  I value each of these 40+ years and hope to have many more working for and with Catholic Schools.    
What does a Catholic school have to offer?  The simple answer is the integration of faith, morals and the love of Jesus Christ as part of the life of the school.  If this is not the top priority of any particular Catholic school, then I will be the first in line to see it close.  Catholic schools need to be more than just academically sound but also truly CatholicOur faith is that important!
On the elementary level, the administration, teachers and staff of Holy Angels School are working very hard to accomplish this task.  Together with strong parental support the school is an extended family.  I have witnessed the school community living out its faith, constantly improving its academic curriculum and developing new programs while it is experiencing a renewed, strong interest by many families in our area.  I am very proud to be the Pastor and partner of this wonderful, truly Catholic school. 
We are also fortunate to have numerous diocesan and private Catholic high schools in our proximity:  Gloucester Catholic, Camden Catholic, Paul VI, and Bishop Eustace.
Over the years I have found that not everyone's needs can always be met in a Catholic school.  I also realize that no Catholic school is perfect because they are made up of imperfect human beings.  Yet, if the students are supported by loving parents who practice their faith and those students try to live out the teachings of their faith as articulated every day in the classroom, then I think that Catholic school graduates are as well-prepared as anyone to face the challenges, trials and tribulations that life may present.  I encourage families who have not seriously considered a Catholic school to pray about it, make an appointment to visit or attend an open-house and see if a Catholic school may be the right fit for your child(ren).  

Yes, the added expense of tuition is difficult.  (Limited tuition assistance may be available for needy families.)  Yet, isn’t sacrifice usually a necessary part of obtaining something truly valuable?  There is no better short or long term investment you can make than in the education and spiritual formation of your children.  
My thanks to those parents who currently make the sacrifice to send your children to a Catholic school and to those who take the time to consider one!

Fr. Ed Namiotka    

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