Pastor’s Letter for 9/11/2016: On Catholic Education and Holy Rosary School
This past Tuesday was the first day of our school. I was delighted to go and visit most of the classrooms the first day of school. To look into the faces of the children and see the wonder and innocence in them, it is no wonder Jesus says, “In order to enter the kingdom of Heaven one must become like a little child.” And Jesus also says there is severe punishment (millstone around the neck and cast into the sea) for those who cause to fall or mislead these little ones into sin. For Jesus, children are both precious and vulnerable.
Before school started I had the opportunity to meet with the teachers and staff. I am impressed with what I see and feel the children of HR are in good hands and under good leadership with Sue Venable. I am happy to announce an enrollment of 267 which is substantially up from three years ago. When I met with the teachers I was able to share some of my thoughts and vision for our school. I have a fairly extensive background in Catholic education and have watched it change and reinvent itself over the years.
Our school is and will be excellent in many things and our children will excel in many things. But there is one thing above everything else that we need to excel in and that is being faithful to our mission as a Catholic school. Over the past several years there has been a lot of discussion about “Catholic Identity” in Catholic education. What makes a school Catholic? It is more than statues and crucifixes on the wall, not just a veneer. In my mind a Catholic school has to be a place where the person of Jesus, his life, his story, and his mission are presented in such a faithfilled way that he is known and loved.
Children are naturally open to God and the things of God. It will be incumbent upon our school to keep filling the minds of children with the person and truth of Jesus Christ. The future of Catholicism in this country will depend on how well we can communicate the truth of who Jesus Christ is to young people. For my part I will do my best to ensure our school is faithful to our Catholic mission and that Jesus is known and loved. Jesus also said, “Let the children come to me”. We pray this happens and will always happen here at Holy Rosary School.