Catholic Schools Week this year is from January 26th to February 1st.
We proudly boast of Holy Angels School—the Small School with the Big Heart—as part of our parish.
I truly believe in and have dedicated the majority of my years as a priest to service in Catholic schools. This will remain my passion as long as the Catholic school is true to its Catholic mission and identity. A Catholic school is never supposed to be just a “private school,” some type of “alternative to public education” or a type of “status symbol” that only “elite” families can afford.
What makes a Catholic school special?
We pray together each day. We teach morals, values, love and forgiveness to the students. We celebrate the sacraments (especially Mass and Confession) as part of the life of the school. Our Catholic faith is an important component of the curriculum. We develop the whole person—body, mind and soul. We freely preach “Jesus is Lord!”
These factors to me are simply priceless.
Yes, the public schools may have many more material things available (that your taxes pay for!) but they do not readily proclaim that Jesus, the Son of God, loves me and died for my sins.
This does not hide the fact that Catholic schools certainly have their challenges. Religious sisters and priests in schools are becoming a rarity. Tuition costs continue to rise. Unfortunately, not every Catholic school student (or family) listens to or incorporates the Gospel message into their lives.
Still, I believe in Catholic schools and have known and experienced their influence on so many people’s lives. In fact, I believe that I am a priest today because of the example of dedicated priests, sisters and lay teachers during my years of Catholic school education.
I take this time to thank Mrs. Patti Paulsen, the Principal of Holy Angels School, for her commitment, dedication and leadership. She and her faculty and staff are working continually to build up our school and I am proud of their efforts. They are truly swimming against the tide as our school enrollment grows even as our Catholic Church faces difficult times.
For those who have chosen a Catholic school education for their children, I am grateful for your commitment and support. I encourage all parents to take the time to consider this option for their children. It will involve sacrifice to some degree. But sacrifice is the foundation of our faith—a sacrifice that was made on the cross for you and me.
Try teaching that in a public school.
Fr. Ed NamiotkaPastor