January 25, 2008

Catholic Schools Week Supplement


By Annette “Mickey” Lentz

Annette "Mickey" LentzCatholic Schools Week is the time set aside each year to celebrate what makes Catholic education special. Indeed, it is special!

Since 1974, we have spent this week shedding light on the success of our schools, the excellence of our students and the difference we make in our communities. We also focus on the high-quality, faith-filled education that our schools provide.

I love this year’s theme, “Light the Way.” It combines the teachings of God as the light of the world and the light of knowledge that our schools enflame in our youth. It also represents the special role of Catholic schools and teachers in lighting the way through an education which supports the whole child in leading a fulfilled life.

In turn, our students will “light the way” to a brighter future through leadership in their communities and families.

There are many moving quotations about light from many important people, including this one from Helen Keller: “Knowledge is Love and Light and Vision.” How true that is of our Catholic schools!

In celebrating Catholic Schools Week, there is much good news to share. Our schools—here and across the nation, from the elementary level to the university level—have an excellent reputation and are valued in so many ways. Here are three major contributions that our Catholic schools provide:

  • Top-notch teaching and learning in the core disciplines and, more importantly, in the areas of Scripture, ethics, morality and theology.
  • A brighter future for individuals and for society because we educate children of all faith backgrounds, children of diverse origins and children whose lives are challenged by poverty.
  • A light for those on the journey of discipleship because our students, parents, faculty and board members— led by our pastoral and school leadership—daily put their faith into action.

Congratulations to all of our Catholic schools in the archdiocese. And thank you to those who teach in our schools, lead them and support them. May our schools remain “beacons of hope” now and forever.

(Annette “Mickey” Lentz is the executive director of the archdiocesan Secretariat for Catholic Education and Faith Formation) †

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