January 26, 2024

2024 Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Why choose Catholic schools? The Eucharist is our foundation

By Brian Disney (Superintendent of Catholic schools in the archdiocese)

Brian Disney“Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2223). Therefore, parents should have the right to choose the educational option that best meets the needs of their children.

Our great State of Indiana recognizes these God-given rights by supporting all forms of k-12 education and providing state education funding to parents for public or private education, except for families earning over 400% of free/reduced eligibility who can only receive funding for public schools.

Parents in Indiana have many great educational choices for their children, so why should they choose Catholic schools? Parents should choose Catholic schools because the Eucharist is the foundation and goal of everything we do.

The Eucharist is the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith and the Christian life (CCC, 1324-27). The Eucharist is also the source and summit of our Catholic schools and every ministry of our Church. The Eucharist is food for the spiritual journey home to heaven where we will celebrate full communion with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Eucharist is also the food that nourishes our Catholic school communities on our common journey through this life and into the next.

Families choose our Catholic schools because of our academic rigor and excellence. Our teachers challenge students to grow in knowledge, wisdom and truth through lessons that engage minds, bodies and spirits. Catholic schools develop the full human potential of each student because we know that human beings have an eternal destiny.

Our students’ performance on standardized assessments is equal to or better than students in other schools. Our students earn many college credits while in high school and graduate at high rates.

Families choose our schools because the strong moral values we teach mirror what the parents are teaching at home. Our schools are centered on the person of Jesus Christ, Gospel values and teachings of the Church. Our daily lessons in the Catholic faith reinforce and support the strong religious foundation taught at home.

Our students participate in daily prayer, regular school Masses, religion classes and eucharistic adoration. Our students grow as ethical and moral decision-makers by learning to apply Catholic beliefs and human reason to real-life situations. Our students develop strong moral characters that are necessary to withstand the changing values of secular culture.

Families choose our schools because of our safe and disciplined learning environment. Every student is recognized as a child of God who needs to be seen, valued and loved. In educating the whole child, Catholic schools form students spiritually, emotionally and socially.

Lessons grounded in the Gospel values help students to love God, themselves and others. This culture of respect, love and forgiveness permeates our classrooms, hallways and cafeterias. Students are held to high standards of caring for themselves, their classmates and the school.

Families choose our schools because parishes and schools create a community for the entire family. Catholic schools are communities of learners and communities of faith. School families develop a sense of community with fellow parishioners and have opportunities for friendship, fellowship and service.

Each of us is called to be a Gospel witness who understands and accepts the teachings of the Church and the demands of the Gospel. Catholic school educators partner with parents (the primary teachers) in the formation of their children. Our school communities are villages needed to raise our children. The Eucharist brings us together as one family and provides spiritual food to serve others.

Families choose Catholic schools because they are great investments in their children’s earthly and heavenly futures. Our graduates excel in colleges and careers. They actively participate in our country’s democracy, serve others in our communities, and lead in business, government, education, healthcare, science and other careers.

Catholic school graduates are also more likely to retain their Catholic identity, pray daily and attend Mass as adults. Our schools prepare students for life on Earth and in heaven. The return on investment in a Catholic education is unmatched.

Why choose Catholic schools? The foundation and goal of our schools is the Eucharist. †

Read more stories from the Catholic Schools Week Supplement

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