Catholic School Teachers as Ministers
"As plans are made to celebrate another Catholic Schools Week, I want to thank all those who sacrifice and serve in our Catholic schools.
Teaching in a Catholic school is a ministry, and all who serve in our schools are teachers. The most important job of those who serve in a Catholic school is to help evangelize students. Through words and actions, they partner with parents to form students into disciples of Christ. On the playground, in the halls or classrooms, situations occur, questions are asked, comments are made and those who serve in Catholic schools view these events as opportunities to help draw students closer to Christ. That is the mission of our Catholic schools!
Through the priests, religious, principals and teachers in the classrooms, the students learn that doing their best academically is about more than getting a good grade, scholarship or acceptance into a great school. They are taught to do their best because they were created by God for a purpose. They are taught the truth, challenged to discover God’s plan for themselves, and are equipped to evangelize in a world that desperately needs them.
Students are taught to respect and take care of the school by the actions of those who do the maintenance in the school. They are taught to understand their responsibility to honor those who sacrificed to build the building and make sure the building is in good shape for those who will come after them. Through the efforts of those who work in the cafeteria, they learn not to waste and to realize how blessed they are to live in a country where food is readily available for them. They are taught how to be good stewards. Those who serve in the office, answer the phones, greet the parents, and take care of the sick children, embody the scripture, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord . . . ” (Col. 3:23). Every interaction and communication not only completes a task but provides an opportunity for formation.
Those who serve in the parishes where the Catholic schools are located are often present in the schools and serve as role models of faith. Students are taught their Catholic school education is a gift that is being provided through the sacrifice and support of their parents, parish and the entire Catholic community of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. They are taught to show gratitude for all who make this gift possible.
Everyday actions that happen in all schools across America are responded to differently by those who serve in Catholic schools. The lessons, explanations, corrections, and actions are all intentionally tied back to our faith. At the entrance of one of our Catholic schools, there is a picture of Christ that says, “This Master Teacher Has Been Part of Our Faculty for Years!” Those who serve in our Catholic schools are carrying on the teaching ministry of Christ, passed on to us through centuries by the disciples, saints, religious and all the Catholic school teachers who have dedicated their lives to serving in our Catholic schools. They not only do a great job, they share the Good News and evangelize the hearts of the students.
THANK YOU for all your hard work, sacrifice and efforts to form the future of the Catholic Church one student at a time."
By Holly Goodwin, Superintendent of Catholic Education, Diocese of Colorado Springs
SPECIAL TO THE COLORADO CATHOLIC HERALD, JANUARY 15, 2016