Back to School, Looking Ahead

As families are getting back into the school routine, many are taking a step back and reflecting on their goals for education and what hopes and challenges are facing them on their way. For families with children in Catholic grade school and Catholic grade school and Catholic high school, tuition requires sacrifice and commitment.  And for families who want to send their children to a Catholic college or university, this involves putting aside funds as they look ahead to their children’s future education. In the immediate here and now, it is clear that the public education system poses several moral risks for parents who want to nurture, strengthen and preserve their children’s faith. At the same time, it is also the case that the financial burden of private education can be cost-prohibitive for many who deeply value their faith but are forced to make compromises in directing their children’s education.

  • Student Loan Debt and The Costs

The recent announcement to forgive billions of dollars of student loan debt has  been met with much praise by many.  Certainly, one can see potential upsides to this initiative.  But this new policy is closely related to the concerns of families seeking to provide a Catholic education for their children. But don’t worry, there’s hope as well. In a recent article for Crisis magazine, Eric Sammons evaluates the very real consequences that that massive student loan forgiveness can have on private, and especially Catholic, institutions. To sum up his evaluation, the forgiveness of student loan debt doesn’t solve the problem of exorbitant costs of higher education but only shifts the responsibility to taxpayers- not only to parents but also to students and those recently graduated who will also become taxpayers. Even for institutions that are committed to preserving traditional Catholic teaching and values, massive student loan forgiveness – Sammons argues – will have the detrimental effect of raising costs even more.

  • Catholic Higher Education: How will it be affected?

As for the faith-cultivating mission of Catholic higher education, we are also met with the sad reality that many are only Catholic in name and not in substance. The Newman Guide promotes authentically Catholic education.  This non-profit publishes a list of  schools that, on the contrary, are committed to being faithful Catholic colleges. A prime example is Christendom College which doesn’t accept any federal funding and thus is not ‘forced’ to accept any of the indoctrinating ideologies that come along with those funds. These schools, however, face the challenge of not only being potentially cost-prohibitive for many, but also face the same challenging question of all colleges, public and private: with rising tuition costs, is the investment worth it? Catholic institutions and parents committed to preserving the faith in their children face an additional question: how can I help transmit the faith to my children and how can my child’s current elementary school help with that?

  • The Catholic Goal of Education: Fostering individuals through a community

Education begins at home, but it doesn’t have to end there. Education is a constantly ongoing experience. In front of the desire to preserve the faith during college years by instilling and fostering a Catholic experience on campus, Sammons proposes a compelling alternative: start fostering Catholic communities now, not waiting for college years to come and certainly not entrusting the duty of preserving the faith to institutions. Catholic elementary schools can help foster such small Catholic communities. We are now witnessing the heavy costs incurred by the decision of public schools to jettison more than one year of education to ‘virtual’ teaching. At the same time, we are also witnessing, on a national level, a surge in attendance in Catholic schools and families who are now beginning to homeschool full-time. Learning only occurs in a personal context. That’s why education requires a community. Making the decision to seek out a Catholic community in elementary education can be a powerful and meaningful step to enhance the chances of preserving faith in our children down the road.

 

Happy Father’s Day

Wishing all fathers a very special Father’s Day this Sunday.

 

A Prayer for Fathers:

 

Heavenly Father,

you entrusted your Son Jesus,

the child of Mary,

to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.

Bless all fathers

as they care for their families.

Give them strength and wisdom,

tenderness and patience;

support them in the work they have to do,

protecting those who look to them,

as we look to you for love and salvation,

through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.

 

Amen.

Happy Mother’s Day

happy mothers day with floral and greenery borderWishing all Mothers a very special Mother’s Day this Sunday. We recognize the very special role of a mother, especially in the lives of our students!

Thank you for all you do, the sacrifices you’ve made, and the gift of live you’ve given.

We pray for God’s blessing on all mothers; our mothers both living and dead, spiritual mothers, godmothers, foster mothers, stepmothers. We especially pray for women who long to be mothers or who have lost children in miscarriage and stillbirth or have experienced the death of a child after birth no matter what age. We entrust the care of all mothers to Mary, the mother of our Lord, who understands the joys and sorrows of motherhood. Amen.

May: Month of Mary

During the month of May we notice a certain beauty and grace unravel as the earth begins to bloom. In awe, we can see God’s creation come to life. How wonderful that the Catholic Church dedicates the month of May as a time of special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

There is no, one way to honor Mary during this month. The Church offers many different prayers and remembrances of Mary to pray for her intercession and recognize her important place as our Mother.

Our students at Holy Cross Catholic School have an understanding of the importance of the Marian devotions and will be participating throughout the month.

We also invite you to participate in this Month of Mary at home. Here are a few simple ways to get the family involved and share our love and appreciation of our beloved Mother.

Three ways to honor Mary in the month of May:

1.     Bring Mary Flowers

Visit your parish church and leave flowers at the feet of the statue of Mary. Spend some time there afterward to pray for her intercession and follow those personal prayers with a Hail Mary.

 

2.     Make a Special Spot for Mary in your Home

If you have a small statue of Mary or an icon of her, find a spot in your house that is easily visible and will bring attention to her. If you don’t have any sign of Mary this could be a great opportunity to get one —or simply print this picture out and have your children color it, to hang up.

Another way to bring attention to Mary and show her special honor is to make a flower crown for her. (You can make one with pipe cleaners and artificial flowers from the dollar store or craft store.) OR simply place some fresh flowers next to Mary in a vase.

 

3.     Learn about Mary

Take time out of your normal family routine to learn more about Mary and her special place in our Church and lives. There are many credible movies, books, and websites that can aid in sharing her life both depicted in the bible and even what we know through the approved Marian apparitions. Here is a great list of children’s books to get you started.