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Gratitude for parents’ sacrifice and priest’s inspiration

Written By Anthony Cavone
Good Shepherd School, Collingswood

As an eighth grade student at Good Shepherd School, something extraordinary happened this year that has truly affected my faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It was the addition of a special class taught by Msgr. Leonard Scott. Who is Msgr. Scott? Msgr. Scott is a retired priest that volunteers his time to teach me and my fellow eighth grade students at Good Shepherd School. Each Tuesday, he comes to our school and teaches us about our faith, starting with the Gospel from the previous Sunday Mass. His classes have inspired me in many ways.

Msgr. Scott’s classes have made me more faithful about going to church. I make sure I go every Sunday and on holy days of obligation. Msgr. Scott’s classes have also influenced me to pay attention to the readings and the homily during Mass. I am not only inspired to be prepared to participate in his classes, but I also read the Gospel a number of times after Mass, trying to fully understand Jesus’ message.

Msgr. Leonard Scott

Sometimes I find the Gospel difficult to understand, but then Msgr. Scott breaks it down and explains it in a way that allows me to gain understanding. Not only does he teach us about the Gospel, Msgr. Scott teaches us about the Mass, holy days, feast days and the Bible. When I was younger, I didn’t pay much attention during Mass, but now that I am older and learning more about what is happening during Mass —  thanks to Msgr. Scott — I not only pay attention during Mass, but have a greater appreciation of why the celebration of Mass is so important.

Anthony with his kindergarten buddy during the school’s Living Rosary in Oct. 2017.

One of Msgr. Scott’s most memorable classes was when he told us the story of how he found his vocation to be a priest. I was amazed that he heard his calling and answered it while he was in eighth grade. It made me think about what direction I am going to take with my life. I don’t yet know what career or vocation I will choose, but one thing I do know is that I am going to stay committed to my Catholic faith; something I will work to strengthen each day. I also plan to learn more about my faith by continuing my Catholic school education throughout high school and college.

Faith is the gift of a lifetime. From my Catholic school education, I have had the benefit of learning about God and how to practice my faith. The classes with Msgr. Scott tied all the years of religion classes together with the celebration of Mass and put everything into perspective. I consider his classes a true gift along with my entire Catholic school education. I realize this is something that none of my friends in public school will ever experience in their classrooms. This special gift of knowledge about my faith is something that I will have for the rest of my life. Although it is a sacrifice for my parents, I am confident that I would not have had such a unique opportunity to learn about God and my faith in Him were it not for a Catholic school education. I would say that my Catholic school education is truly a gift of a lifetime.