My husband and I are products of Catholic school Kindergarten through College. When it came time to choose a school for our own children, we were never in doubt as to where we would send them. At the time, we chose Catholic school for its small and cozy atmosphere. A safe place where our children could learn free of political distractions and focused daily on prayer and Jesus Christ. We wanted them to know God as a constant presence in their lives; a source of comfort and guidance. We felt that Catholic school supported what we were trying to do at home.
As the years progressed, we continued to financially commit to our children’s catholic education. It wasn’t always easy. We could have been using that money for vacation or a new car, or even college education savings. But we felt our children were getting something that we could never buy elsewhere. A place that was focused on the teachings of Jesus, where mutual respect was a way of life and where they were developing an emerging social consciousness. Every adult in the school personally knew and cared about our children. There was nothing more moving than watching 400 children quietly and respectfully file into church for mass. There is no doubt that Catholic school is a financial commitment. But it is not as expensive as you would think, and there is a tremendous amount of financial aid available for families. Do not let expenses be a reason not to choose a Catholic education for your child.
Four years ago, we sent our oldest child to high school. There was no catholic high school here to choose from, and we were pretty stressed as to how they would thrive in this new environment. But high school has been an amazing experience for them. Academically they had the skills to thrive in the hardest classes. Socially, they were conscious of the differences of others, and were able to relate well to teachers. But most importantly, they continued to seek out kids with similar beliefs, kids who shared their values and moral code. They continued to expand upon the bedrock of service and social justice that St. Francis Central Catholic promoted in them. And they continued to participate in Christian fellowship groups at school and at church.
No school is perfect. No child is perfect. Ours have made the same mistakes, asked the same questions that many other children have. But they have done so knowing in their hearts that God is with them. The thing they have missed most about Catholic school? Daily prayer.