January 23, 2015

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Catholic schools mold students’ spirits and minds to know, love and serve God

By Gina Fleming

Gina FlemingAs I consider the tremendous impact that Catholic education has had on individuals, families and entire communities, I am reminded of a poem entitled “Unity”(author unknown).

The first stanza reads, “I dreamed I stood in a studio and watched two sculptors there. The clay they used was a young child’s mind, and they fashioned it with care.”

The two referenced sculptors are the teacher and the parent. However, in Catholic schools, we would identify God as the master sculptor, and each of us as his apprentices.

Our Catholic schools are able to provide a unique foundation upon which these masterpieces are built, thanks to strong parent and Church investment, our holistic approach to teaching and learning, and our constant focus on learning about and living our Catholic faith.

But what does Catholic education “take”?

With 68 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, our educators take these beautiful children of God—beginning at three to four years of age—and develop readers, writers, scientists, historians, mathematicians and artists.

Catholic schools channel curiosity and energy while striving to empower learners to become advocates for themselves and others through Christian service and strong morals.

Our schools mold creative spirits and critical minds to form strong, well-rounded Christian men and women who serve as leaders committed to knowing, loving and serving God.

Catholic education takes young people and develops doctors, teachers, lawyers, business leaders, musicians, artists and scientists. Priests, deacons, and men and women religious spring from the work of our Catholic schools, as do dedicated spouses, mothers and fathers.

Catholic schools teach us how to align our choices to Gospel values through the study of Sacred Scripture, Church traditions and infinite examples of our Catholic faith.

Catholic schools recognize the gifts with which each individual has been blessed and work collectively with parents and students to fully develop these gifts and glorify God.

The “Unity” poem concludes with, “And each agreed they would have failed if each had worked alone, for behind the teacher stood the school, and behind the parent, the home.”

In our Catholic schools, God works through students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and supporters to provide opportunities to deepen relationships with him, making future celebrations sweeter and hardships lighter.

Catholic schools do not limit the focus on student growth from ages 3 to 18, but instead use precious time with youth to prepare them for college, careers and most importantly, heaven.

With God’s grace, Catholic schools take children and develop the masterpieces God created them to be. †

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