Catholic Schools Week — Message from the Archbishop

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Greetings in the Lord!

As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, I want to reflect on a core value for our Catholic schools as reflected in the Catholic Schools Week theme — Catholic Schools: Faith, Excellence. Service. That value is service.

Our superintendent of schools, Dr. Mary Beth Bowling, established a wonderful theme for this school year, “Open the Door to Jesus: Be Intentional in Walking with Him and Sharing the Gospel Message.” One of the ways that we encounter and reflect the person of Jesus Christ is through our many efforts to serve others.

Because of our faith, service is not just a nice thing to do. Service is part of who we are as followers of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ life, we see that he always responded to the person in front of him with care, compassion and healing. He modeled for his disciples how to serve in many ways, large and small, and of course offered the ultimate service in giving his life on the Cross. In our schools, therefore, service is grounded spiritually in our response to the call of Jesus Christ. Thus, your efforts to truly know Our Lord will deepen your experiences and give you hope in the challenges that you face as you seek to serve others.

I am pleased with the collaboration that occurs in our family of Catholic schools with the service ministries of our archdiocese, especially Catholic Charities of Louisville, global organizations like Catholic Relief Services and many other local community organizations. I applaud the efforts of schools to connect your service activities to what you learn in your classes and with advocacy efforts that are so important in changing the structures and systems that do not serve our neighbors well.

Keep in mind that service also takes place through our daily interactions with others, with your families, friends, neighbors and parishioners. Students, your efforts to extend kindness to a fellow student who is having a bad day, to model respect for your teachers or to help a neighbor with yard work also reflect Jesus’ servant leadership. Ultimately, a primary commitment of our schools is to prepare you to be active people of faith who serve others.

As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, I want to take this opportunity to thank those servant leaders whose ministry makes our excellent Catholic schools possible. Our priests, principals, teachers, parish and school staff and many adult volunteers work heroically to make sure that our students have the best experience possible. And parents, the first teachers of the faith, make great sacrifices to give the wonderful gift of a Catholic school education to their children. I also thank the supporters of our Catholic schools and organizations like the Catholic Education Foundation, whose gifts of time, talent and treasure buttress our schools amid many challenges facing our educational systems today.

Happy Catholic Schools Week! Please know of my prayers for all who participate in this vital ministry of Catholic school education. Know that I remain,

 

Sincerely in the Lord,

Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre

Archbishop of Louisville

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