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9/23/2013 9:32:00 AM
Take a look at Catholic education
Archbishop Howard School at St. Rose photo
Clarissa Troutman, Vivian Mai, Alex Altenhofen and Peter Rink work on science at Archbishop Howard School at St. Rose.
Archbishop Howard School at St. Rose photo
Clarissa Troutman, Vivian Mai, Alex Altenhofen and Peter Rink work on science at Archbishop Howard School at St. Rose.

This time of year, when tuition bills arrive, parents and children in Catholic schools must ask themselves, “Is it worth it?” With annual charges approaching $5,000 at grade schools and topping $11,000 at high schools, the question is legitimate.

It would be a mistake to answer this by citing graduation percentages, academic honors and even public service. Many kinds of schools, public and private, are superb at imparting knowledge and building character.

The distinction is Jesus.

That needs some explaining, since no one should get the impression that Catholic schools shirk academics in favor of piety. After all, Catholic schools are heirs to a 2,000-year-old intellectual tradition that invented the modern university.   

Christianity and bold academic inquiry go hand-in-hand. In our Incarnation-based faith, creation and knowledge take on new meaning because God entered creation fully. One of the first fights within the Church was whether Jesus really became human and whether creation is evil. The Gnostics lost and we Christians now engage this creation, so blessed by God’s becoming human. The Incarnation is the very foundation of education.   

At the same time, the Catholic wisdom from over millennia tells us that it’s possible to focus on creation in such a way that we forget the Creator. That’s where Catholic schools have an edge. In a culture that seems disinterested in the higher ways, children from Catholic schools some day will be able to stand witness. They will say:

“This world is good, but there is something beyond it. The primal dissatisfaction we feel in the world can only be healed by God.”    

Consider Catholic school for your children. Even if it’s a sacrifice, the world desperately needs Catholic-educated citizens.





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