Why choose a Catholic School?
A Reflection by Fr. Tim Mazur
Making the choice for a Catholic school for your child is an extremely important decision that requires a great deal of sacrifice. What would lead parents to want to make that choice? What does a Catholic school provide for our children that can’t be found in another type of school?
Most simply stated what can be provided within a Catholic school curriculum is a strong foundation of Catholic values and the freedom to pray and celebrate the Eucharist regularly. Interwoven in a Catholic school environment is the faith, tradition and worship which is central to who we are as Catholics.
To paraphrase Archbishop Vigneron in a recent address to the priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit, he stated that “…if we are not assisting our children in their growth in holiness, our schools have no reason to exist.” In other words, we have the responsibility as Catholic schools to assist our children in their spiritual growth. We must necessarily help our children grow closer to God as they grow in understanding of the teachings of Christ and the Church. We are able to help our children realize the importance of recognizing Christ’s presence in their daily lives and offering God worship through our prayer and celebration of the Eucharist.
As we are all aware there are many cultural and societal values that seek to influence our children in less than positive ways, and in many instances diminish the importance of being a person of faith. As a Catholic school we are able to assist our students in establishing a strong foundation of values that help them discern values that are contrary to our faith. A strong Catholic education assists with the formation of a young person’s conscience so that they are able to make good decisions. A strong Catholic education helps a young person to see the importance of being a person of faith and being a person of prayer who relies on the grace and strength of the sacraments of the Church.
As Catholic schools we must necessarily be concerned with the development of the whole child; body, mind and spirit. We don’t have to ignore any aspect of the child’s development. Within a Catholic faith-based environment we are able to help our children establish a strong foundation of faith that will assist them in their present and future lives.
Catholic schools were founded in our country to ensure that Catholic children were being provided with strong religious education to stand up against conflicting religious and secular values. That goal hasn’t changed over the generations. There are countless voices that are seeking to influence and shape our children’s futures. Catholic schools help our children to hear the voice of Jesus Christ so that they can be influenced and shaped by His truth.