Time to Speak — The value of a Catholic education

The Following essay placed first in the Catholic Education Foundation’s annual Catholic Schools Week Essay Contest.

By Catie Flaugher

In a matter of months, I will graduate from high school. With a few steps and a handshake, I will be released into the world to start a new chapter of my life. It was in preparation for my future — applying to colleges, to be precise — that I realized the fortune that has been bestowed upon me.

The application process for colleges and scholarships is fierce. It exposes both the strengths and weaknesses of a multitude of educational systems. In comparing my education with those of my peers, it became evident to me that I have benefited from the high standards that the Catholic school system has set.

During my twelve years in the Catholic school system, I acquired a sense of academic excellence fostered by each teacher whose classroom I ever entered. The passion for teaching and gaining knowledge that my teachers have always exuded is undeniable and inspirational.

With teachers that clearly enjoy their profession, I cannot help but approach learning with the same fervor. Without diligence, the quality of work they demand would be unattainable. Most importantly, the enthusiasm and dedication they instill leads me to constantly raise my own standards for the work I do, both in and out of the classroom.

The lessons I learn in school are far from limited to facts and figures. From the men and women who lead by example, I know the true value of respect, humility, and honesty. By holding me to a high code of conduct in the classroom, the sense of morality by which I lead my life grows stronger each day.

The love of an inclusive community that I experience in Catholic schools calls me to provide the same to everyone I meet. This love has taught me to approach all of God’s creation with the same tenderness and compassion that reveals itself to me each day.

In caring for my brothers and sisters in Christ and learning about the faith, my spirituality evolves as well. Service opportunities provided in the Catholic school system enrich me. Continuous theological study gives me a deep understanding of the faith and a thirst to learn more of the history and tradition of the Catholic Church.

Through this education, I gain pride and excitement in my faith. While the importance of knowing one’s faith and serving those in need are valuable lessons to impart to the students of Catholic schools, I believe an even higher standard is set: the standard for Catholicism. My education has provided me with the essential truth that to truly profess the faith, Catholics must live the faith. There is no other way.

When I graduate, I will carry a diploma as a physical sign of the education I received. More importantly, I will carry the skills to rise to whatever challenges I may face and a thirst for learning.

I will carry a high personal set of expectations that began to form at an early age and were refined during my years in school. I will carry the love and respect of my teachers and classmates. I will carry the essence of Catholic education.

Catie Flaugher is a senior at Mercy Academy.
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One reply on “Time to Speak — The value of a Catholic education”
  1. says: Beverly McAuliffe

    What a beautiful and compelling tribute to Catholic education, Catie! All your teachers and administrators during your years of Catholic schooling must be very, very proud of you! Thank you for taking the time to write the article. No doubt all of us who work with love and dedication in our Archdiocesan Catholic schools are rejoicing in your stellar tribute to your Catholic education!

    May you always know God’s loving presence as you move on to college and your future!

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