January 29, 2016

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Give thanks for the amazing impact of Catholic schools

By Gina Kuntz Fleming

Gina Kuntz FlemingAs a product of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, I have fond memories from every grade.

I cherish the wonderful teachers who challenged me and supported me, as well as the dedicated volunteers who coached our teams through the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO).

I recall countless occasions when I witnessed and experienced our faith in action. I am reminded of the numerous opportunities for faith formation, intellectual development and social growth presented throughout my tutelage, and I continue to treasure the incredible friendships established in Catholic schools that remain with me today.

And now, as I serve as superintendent of our Catholic schools, my team and I strive to ensure that the nearly 24,000 young people in our schools today have the same great formational experience I had.

My husband and I rely upon the support of the Catholic community as we raise two young men, one a sophomore at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis and the other a seventh-grader at Holy Name School in Beech Grove. Through it all, God’s grace and love have been evident in the pastors, employees, parishioners and school family members with which we have been blessed.

As Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin recently shared, “Academic research demonstrates that Catholic schools are anchor institutions in neighborhoods and communities throughout America. As communities of faith, they are centers of formation that develop graduates who are more likely to vote and be civically engaged, are more likely to engage in community service, are less likely to engage in criminal behavior, and who have higher earning potentials throughout their lifetimes.”

For further information about the benefits of Catholic schools, you can visit our friends at the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education at ace.nd.edu/resources/catholic-school-research/researched-case-for-catholic-schools.

Catholic Schools Week is a wonderful time to pause and thank all those responsible for the amazing impact our Catholic schools have had on our communities.

I am grateful to Archbishop Tobin and Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein for their unwavering commitment to Catholic education and faith formation.

I am honored to serve beside dedicated professionals, who profess their faith through their work and service both in the Office of Catholic Schools and on each school campus.

I am thankful for the pastors and school leaders whose focus on mission and Catholic identity, leadership and governance, academic excellence and operational vitality result in unceasing improvement of and continued prosperity for students, families and parish communities.

I am grateful to our parents, grandparents and generous benefactors who invest in our youth, valuing their formation in the faith that is integral to the life of our Church.

Please join me in thanking a teacher who has made a positive difference in the life of your child.

Thank the school leaders who go above and beyond to ensure a well-rounded, comprehensive educational experience for our youth.

Please pray for the continued growth of each child and family we serve. And, if you have not yet had the privilege of experiencing our Catholic schools firsthand, please contact a nearby school for a tour—it promises to bring you hope for a bright future in our Church and our world.

Happy Catholic Schools Week to all! †

See more from this year's Catholic News Week Supplement


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