Editorial — Catholic education distilled

Marnie McAllister

If you’ve ever wondered about the value of a Catholic education, let the class of 2020 tell you.

The annual Graduation Issue, part of this week’s edition of The Record, includes essays penned by more than two dozen seniors graduating from 10 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

When it comes to sports, academic competitions and recruitment, fans of these schools will tout their many differences.

Some schools excel at setting record times and others excel at scoring goals, some garner large scholarship dollars and others prepare students to learn essential trades.

But as these graduates will tell you when you read their stories, the values their schools hold most dear, the gifts these institutions have imparted, are virtually the same. In the pages of the graduation section, you’ll find the values of Catholic education distilled to their most pure form.

Ethan Phillips and Laurel Claire Riggs discuss their schools’ sense of family, among other themes.

“Often, I feel that God has put me into this place for a reason and has given me a second family to rely on,” writes Phillips of Holy Cross High School.

“Bethlehem taught us that it is by looking outside of ourselves that we find resilience and patience, and the greatest lesson I learned was the bittersweet reality that one can’t do it alone,” writes Riggs. “Looking back, I am eternally grateful for this magi-cal family that welcomed me with open arms.”

Tyia Tobin and Jacob Higdon tell us their school community made them feel they mattered.

Tobin, a senior at Presentation writes, “Freshman and sophomore years were unstable years, but Pres never gave up on me. Everyone at Presentation always searched for the greater good in me.”

Higdon of DeSales High School said, “I felt genuinely wanted. And that feeling never went away.”

Jeff Palmquist and Carter Ehrich tell us, as many other students do, about where God fits into the high school experience.

Palmquist of Trinity High School writes, “At school we see ‘the good’ that God intended for us in the beginning. But we don’t see God in bricks, paint and mortar. We see him in each other. We see him in our teachers’ caring smiles and jokes — even the occasional ‘Sup?’ in the hallways from a friend.”

Carter Ehrich of Immaculata Classical Academy writes, “I can say with confidence that if I make it to paradise I would owe it to my theology teachers.”

These schools have done something wonderful for our children. They’ve prepared them in body, mind and spirit to be resilient, loving, community-minded and capable.

May they begin this next phase of life, in all of its uncertainty, with the support of our prayers.

Marnie McAllister

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