Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Each year, in late January we set aside a week to focus attention on, and to celebrate, our Catholic schools. This year Catholic Schools Week runs from Sunday, January 31, to Saturday, February 6, with the theme, “Dividends for Life: Faith, Knowledge, Discipline, Morals.”
This theme summarizes all the main and most important functions of Catholic schools. First and foremost, Catholic schools exist to teach the Catholic faith and to instill this faith into the hearts of the students. It is through this instilling of the faith that students are led to meet Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, in a personal and life changing way.
Students in Catholic schools engage Christ each and every blessed day as they interact with their teachers, fellow students, parents, staff, parishioners, and volunteers in the context of a community of faith. Through this interaction and teaching, students come to have faith in Christ, who alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Seeing the world in the light of Truth
As students grow in faith, they learn to see our world in the light of the Truth — they learn to see the truth of our humanity and our salvation. They are led to a deeper knowledge of their faith and of themselves, coming to know themselves, each of whom is imbued with inestimable human dignity as beloved sons and daughters of God.
Acting on this dignity, students are challenged by their teachers to grow in academic knowledge and to seek God’s truth in the world and in all He has created.
As students grow in knowledge and have their faith deepened, so too do they acquire the discipline necessary for further academic study and spiritual growth.
The discipline of mind and body necessary for academic success also lays a foundation for service to others as students learn to deny themselves in the service of others. Finally, the discipline necessary for quiet prayer either in church, in class, or before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration helps brings students closer to Christ, moving them to strive to conform their will to the will of Christ, who “did not come to be served, but to serve,” conforming His will perfectly to that of the Father. Mt. 20:28
As students grow in faith, knowledge, and discipline, so too are they educated in morals, the knowledge and principles of right behavior.
Again, reinforced by our Catholic faith, this education in morals not only furthers students in their faith, but prepares them to live as upstanding citizens and members of society.
Full and complete education
Taken together, the education in faith, knowledge, discipline, and morals that our students receive in Catholic schools prepare our students not only for future academic success, but for full and complete lives as people who contribute to society, speak out in the face of wrong, stand firm in the face of adversity, and who build God’s Kingdom on Earth by always seeking and proclaiming the Truth of Christ.
We thank all those who serve our Church, our diocese, and our parishes by serving in Catholic schools. We celebrate your service and the great service the schools provide.
May we all continue to seek ways to serve as Christ served, and through our service give glory to God.
Faithfully yours in the Lord,
Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino
Bishop of Madison