Catholic Schools Week: The Gift of Catholic Education

We’re in the middle of Catholic Schools Week, an annual celebration in which we celebrate the gift that Catholic schools are to our Church and our communities. But Catholic schools don’t just benefit the children and families who attend them. They are a gift to our parishes, our local communities, our nation, and the Church.

Michael Deegan, Superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York, stopped by Morning Air® this week to discuss how the schools in his community will be celebrating and why it is important to recognize the contributions of Catholic education.

Michael explained that throughout the week the 200 schools and 50,000 children in the Archdiocese will be celebrating this year’s theme of Faith. Excellence. Service. Though every school will celebrate the same theme, that will look different in each school, with some activities taking place virtually this year.

In a culture in which prayer and Christian holidays are often not allowed to be celebrated in public schools, Michael pointed out that every school is kicking off Catholic Schools Week with Mass and special prayers.

“We have Mass and various liturgies to kick off the week to remind us of the treasure that Catholic schools are,” Michael said. “Particularly since the preeminent goal of the Church is to provide the Gospel and to provide Jesus in the lives of every one of our children. ”

“Catholic schools are a gift from the Church to the Church. Therefore we want to make sure that as we pass the faith on to the next generation of children and Catholic school leaders we begin with prayer, and we begin with Mass.”

Michael also noted that Catholic schools are not insular bubbles, but rather a tool of evangelization. They assist parents as the primary educators of their children in forming the hearts, minds, and souls of children, and equipping them to share the Gospel with all they meet in life.

Today’s children are growing up in a nation much more secular than the one we grew up in. Catholic education provides an opportunity for children to see their faith lived out publically by the adults in their lives. Having these role models in their lives will show them the beauty and goodness of living a life in which the faith is integrated into every aspect.

Michael said that Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the gift that Catholic schools are to our community and our culture, saying, “We’re going to have a variety of activities that celebrate the unique gift that Catholic schools are. Not just to the Church, but to the nation. And we’re very proud of that.”

Join us in praying for our Catholic school students, teachers, families, and parish communities this week. May they be filled with the Holy Spirit so the Good News of Christ can be taught to children and families throughout the world.

Just as Catholic schools’ mission is the bring Christ to their students, the mission of Relevant Radio® is to bring Christ to the world! Listeners of all ages have told us that Relevant Radio has played a huge role in their journey of faith, but we need your help to continue! When you make a pledge to our Give From the Heart Pledge Drive this week you help us bring the faith, hope, and love of Christ to our many listeners. Every dollar matters so make your pledge today!

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Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.