January 28, 2005

2005 Catholic Schools Week Supplement

'Faith in Every Student'

By Annette “Mickey” Lentz
Executive director of the Office for Catholic Education and Faith Formation

Every year, a theme is selected for Catholic Schools Week to help us focus on the importance of sending a child to a Catholic school. This year, the theme is particularly apt: “Catholic Schools: Faith in Every Student.”

Today, more than ever, it is vital to instill an unshakeable faith and hope for the future in children. Children need to grow spiritually so that they can develop a personal connection to God that will last them for a lifetime.

Other themes through the years have given us that same feeling of comfort and joy when determining that a Catholic school is the best place in which to educate students. We might hear or see that in a Catholic school, children “Learn Well. Live Well. Serve Well.” We know Catholic schools make that possible.

Or “Shouldn’t Your Children Love Learning? At a Catholic School, They Will!”

And I love this one: “Give Your Child the World—Start with a Catholic School.”

( For more of the past years’ themes, see page 18.)

In all cases, faith, hope and good moral values are emphasized.

As I was skimming through the liturgy guide for Catholic Schools Week, I noticed a great emphasis on the Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, they who mourn, the clean of heart, the peacemakers and they who suffer persecution for justice’s sake (Mt 5:3-12).

As we contemplate these wonderful Beatitudes, let’s listen to Jesus’ call in our hearts. Jesus has faith in every one of us. We can make his kingdom a

The Beatitudes are Jesus’ way of giving us a prescription for living our lives according to his teaching. He clearly gives us insight as to the kind of people he wants us to be. We have all received special gifts from God. It is up to us to use these gifts wisely. Catholic schools direct our actions and challenge us to work to help bring about the kingdom.

Catholic schools are the modern site for the Sermon on the Mount.

Lately, much secular emphasis has been placed on the No Child Left Behind Act. I certainly support that concept, not only academically but spiritually and emotionally as well. But what it also means is that our faith in every child in our Catholic school environment is never left behind.

It means that we have a total commitment to every child who enters our schools’ doors.

This commitment is extended as well to the parents of our students. Your child will be challenged in our schools—challenged to grow spiritually, academically and, most importantly, to grow as an individual.

And when we are charting the course for a faith-filled future, we will be able to say that Catholic schools are right on course as they educate one student at a time.

This is our goal. This is our commitment. We will not fail! †


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