Catholic Schools Week is here! We celebrate Catholic Schools Week on the last week of January every year. It’s a great opportunity to give thanks to God for the gift of Catholic schools and for the many great things going on in our educational ministry right here at Christ the King. It’s a special week in the school, with all sorts of activities to help the entire school community celebrate. This weekend, we’ll also have the opportunity to honor the winner of the annual Christ the Teacher Award, as 5th grade teacher Corinne Gries will be recognized at the Vigil Mass. Congratulations, Mrs. Gries!
While there’s much to love about Catholic Schools Week, perhaps my favorite part is that many teachers give assignments asking their students to describe what’s so special about a Catholic school and why they’re so grateful for their Catholic education. It’s really poignant to see them describe it in their own words without any promptings from adults. Even at a young age, they recognize that it’s special to be able to integrate their faith with their education. It would be easy for them to assume that most students get to pray in class, display religious imagery, learn theology and participate in Mass and the sacraments together; but they understand that this doesn’t happen everywhere. Having Jesus visibly at the center of everything we do in our school not only makes Catholic schools distinct and special, I would also argue that it provides the most holistic education possible. After all, if education is ultimately a search for truth, then we as Catholics know that the word “Truth” has a capital “T”, and that ultimately all educational subjects lead us back to Christ, giving us a window into His mind and allowing us to know Him and relate to Him on a deeper and more substantive level.
Whether or not you have a direct connection to the school, I encourage all of you to join in our school Open House on Sunday the 28th from 11am to 2:30pm. After all, the school is the largest ministry of our parish, and your Sunday collections subsidize it. I hope you come and look around and see how this considerable investment of time, talent and treasure is being used. There is much research that suggests that Catholic schools are one of the most effective ways to keep our kids Catholic. I’m very blessed to be a part of such a great Catholic school here at Christ the King.