January 27, 2017
My weekly letter to the Bishop Chatard parent community:
Catholic Schools Week begins next week. I thought it might be a good time to once again share some thoughts on the value of a Catholic education. With free public education nearby, there may be some who are taking a hard look at the cost of educating their child(ren) at Bishop Chatard. My hope is that consideration is given to value rather than cost alone.
Faith – The Catholic faith permeates every aspect of our school. We instruct in the faith through the work of our Theology Department. We celebrate our faith at weekly all-school Mass. We pray. We pray at the beginning of each day and at the beginning of each class. Every meeting I attend begins with prayer. We offer Reconciliation every other week and Adoration monthly. The staff regularly participates in faith formation sessions and has after-school scripture study available to them. All members of the school community are experiencing ongoing faith formation simply by being here.
We keep an open dialogue going with God and we feel his presence in the building at all times. Most importantly, we make a concerted effort to live our faith and share our faith with others – to be both disciples and apostles. We do our best to live out our theme for the year, “Teach me, lead me, guide me to Jesus.” We take care to treat one another with kindness and charity and look to serve others through Campus Ministry activities and outreach programs. We are not perfect, but we work to hold ourselves accountable and seek forgiveness when we fail. Faith is alive at Bishop Chatard. What dollar figure do you put on that? What value do you place on it?
Accountability – Each of us are blessed with God-given abilities. “Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on the lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house” (Matthew 5:15). It is the goal of every member of the faculty, staff, and administration to help our students reach their full potential – to shine their light. We do this by helping them maximize their God-given ability. We challenge them, call them to task, guide them, and affirm them. We love them. Perhaps most importantly, we expect them to hold both themselves and others accountable. The same is expected of the adults in the building. Great things happen when young people realize their potential and then help others do the same. What dollar figure do you put on that? What value do you place on it?
Community – An active community that genuinely cares about one another can accomplish amazing things. Bishop Chatard students are not simply one of seven hundred kids in the building. They are not GPA’s or SAT scores. They are young people with unique gifts and individualized needs. They carry around teenage baggage of self-doubt, struggling relationships, the pressure to succeed and quite simply, the pressure to be a good kid when there are so many avenues of destruction available in our culture. However, everywhere they turn they find support. At home or at school (their other home), they have people dedicated to keeping them on the right path and loving them, even at those times when they are not all that lovable. Bishop Chatard is a special community. What does that cost? What value do you place on that?
I am not sure what you would come up with if you punched all of this information into a calculator. To steal a line from the MasterCard commercials — a Catholic education, priceless. The experience of four years at Bishop Chatard will continue to pay dividends to you and your children for many years to come. That’s value.
Thank you for your continued support of our mission. Thank you for sharing in the faith, holding both your child and the school accountable, and being a vital part of the BCHS community.