Each year we set aside a time to celebrate Catholic education in this country and to showcase the good that our Catholic schools help provide to students, families, and communities. National Catholic Schools Week begins this Sunday, January 26th and runs through February 1st. We are truly grateful for our Catholic schools, especially All Saints Academy, St. Joseph Catholic School, and Cathedral High School.
Catholic schools operate more as communities than bureaucracies, which helps promote teacher and parent commitment and is linked to higher levels of student engagement and student achievement. They truly are good for society and help promote and form solid individuals and families. As I have written many times before, it is the family that is meant to be the core building block of society – not its laws or government – and Catholic schools tend to be better at involving the whole family.
Catholic schools can have a powerful influence in helping the next generation understand and appreciate the faith. I have seen studies that show that Catholics who attended a Catholic school are more likely than those who have not attended a Catholic school to have a devotion to Mary, to help those in need, to receive the Eucharist, or live a life consistent with Catholic teachings (Research from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University, 2008). In most cases the overall percentage difference is fairly significant – often in the double digits. For example, 64% of those who attended a Catholic high school responded that they “strongly” agree that they are proud to be Catholic, compared to 54% of those who did not attend a Catholic high school.
Thank you to all of you who have made the commitment (and at times sacrifice) of sending your children to a Catholic school. Thank you to all those students who have gone through Catholic education yourselves and been personally invested in your education and community. Thank you to all the teachers and staff of our Catholic schools who have helped shape generations of faithful and successful leaders for our world.
Please pray for all students and staff of our Catholic schools during National Catholic Schools Week. If you are interested in sending your child to All Saints Academy (or would like to stop and ask questions), they will be having an open house on Tuesday, January 28th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. And the major fund raiser, Extravaganza, kicks off on Saturday, February 8rd at 5:30 p.m. at the Saint Cloud campus. Stop by the office or order your tickets online. Show your support!