Recently, Archbishop Bernard Hebda and I had the opportunity to attend a meeting with bishops from around the country about strengthening our Catholic schools. Bishops everywhere recognize how our schools are the jewel of our Church and part of the key to our future. In the last decade, nationally, we have had more school closings and consolidations than openings and, in most places, declining enrollment. But Church leaders are not giving up — we are doubling down. This is what we’ve done locally as we have come together with great organizations like the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE) to strengthen our schools and grow enrollment. It is exciting to read about our growth in this market, such as the new middle school opening at St. Peter’s Catholic School in Forest Lake. (See related story on page 6.)
We believe in and spend money on Catholic schools because they transform lives. Our parents value how Catholic schools help develop the whole person — mind, body and soul. They appreciate the shared values we have. We want our schools to prepare children for heaven at the same time they prepare them for college.
Our schools understand that educating the whole child means taking into account that the child will one day face eternity. This is why we seek to weave the eternal throughout the entire educational ecosystem of our schools. We want them to experience the Catholic ethos in the school, the gym class, the cafeteria, the science room as well as the chapel.
We also teach personal accountability, social responsibility, concern for others, sacrifice and awe of God. And all this is in addition to top-notch academics and often specialized programs, like classical education, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and language immersion.
The formation that happens in the mind and heart of a child lasts forever. Make this time in the life of your child truly formative by choosing a Catholic education.