This week we celebrate Catholic Schools Week. It is an annual time dedicated to highlighting the important work and great success of Catholic Schools in our nation. This year’s theme is Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed. Last year in a resolution marking this week, the U.S. House of Representatives declared: “Catholic schools serve the nation by providing a diverse student population from all regions of the country and all socioeconomic backgrounds a strong academic and moral foundation.” There is much to celebrate about in our Catholic Schools especially our dedicated teachers, sacrificial parents and wonderful students. Catholic Schools provide a firm foundation of academics built upon the Catholic Faith. They do this with a very limited budget and yet are among the most successful schools locally and nationally.
We can take great pride in our own parish school at Our Lady of Mercy. It’s committed faculty and staff continue to successfully impart faith and wisdom. OLM school offers a wide range of arts, sports and extra curricular activities. Our OLM graduates go on to excel at area high schools and we can boast of some outstanding alumni in many walks of life. Of course, none of this is possible without our school families who continue to sacrifice to ensure a quality Catholic Education for their children. In choosing to send their children to Our Lady of Mercy School, they have chosen a path that includes learning, service, leadership, faith, virtues and ultimately success! We thank them for their support of OLM School and Catholic Education.
Our outstanding OLM School students are speaking at all Masses this weekend. They are joyfully sharing why they are grateful for their parent’s sacrifice to educate them a OLM School. If you listen to these students I am sure you might consider sending your own children to our tremendous school. Everyone is most welcome to stop by OLM School this Sunday during the Open House from 10:00am until Noon. Come and take a look at the great things happing there. Our school is an outstanding example of great academics and strong faith lived out on a daily basis. We take great pride in OLM School and I hope you stop by to see and truly discover the OLM advantage! Catholic schools are not only about teaching young people to work hard, contribute to society, and be virtuous. These values are important but they aren’t ends in themselves. They flow from the larger mission of our school.
The goal of all Catholic education is to form young people in a strong and solid Catholic faith. Such faith is rooted in the truth about our God, it is faith that guides our students to a fruitful and virtuous life in this world, and home to the joy of eternal life with their Creator. Catholic Education and OLM School seek firstly to form our students in the Catholic Faith. This means that all of our teaching and learning begins and ends with Jesus Christ. For He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Christ is the cornerstone of OLM School and every Catholic School and without such a solid foundation Catholic Schools would crumble and decay. Yet we know that this foundation of objective moral truth is continually attacked in our relativistic society. It is often ridiculed and derided by many of our public institutions and civic leaders and debased in our celebrity culture.
In speaking about Catholic Education, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia states: “The belief that truth exists, is permanent and knowable, and is worth pursuing and fighting for because it makes us free, is an affirmation of the goodness of life and the world’s loving Creator. This enduring passion for truth is the fire at the heart of all Catholic education, from the first day of First Grade forward throughout life.” Come to the OLM School Open House on Sunday and also join us as we celebrate the best way possible with Holy Mass on Friday at 9:00am! Please pray for our OLM School students, families, faculty and staff.
I am away this weekend leading a Day of Recollection for seminarians at St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami. Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats!