Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Throughout my priesthood, and my 15 years as a bishop, Catholic schools have always been a priority for my ministry. Irrespective of the size of a Catholic school, each has an equally important role to play in society and for the Church. Our schools are about the business of education and they go about their business with excellence. Not only do our students benefit from them but so too does our church and our nation.
Though curriculums evolve, our fundamental values continue to withstand the test of time. While test scores, scholarships, college acceptance rates, and career paths all reflect the significant academic advantages of our schools, what truly sets us apart is our ability to infuse our Catholic faith and culture into every element of the school day, including extracurricular activities. Christian morality, ethics, and charity inform each subject area. Although the philosophy of Catholic education developed many centuries ago, it continues to inform our approach to education. In a nut shell Catholic education is an education of the whole person – mind, soul and body because this is how God created human beings. A student in a Catholic school grows in mind, in spirit and in body.
As Catholic educators, we have the freedom to bring values to our students and families through the message of Jesus. For instance, in Catholic schools we can publicly and proudly celebrate a culture of life, where students learn to engage, respect and serve others. The environment of the school is permeated by Jesus Christ, the Gospel, prayer, faith and by the Sacraments of the Catholic church. The school even looks beyond its doors to the world outside for which the student learns responsibility.
We often use the phrase “The Gift of a Lifetime” when we refer to our Catholic schools. In every facet, this is true. A Catholic school education is the gift a parent gives their child; it is the gift we offer the world by providing well-formed, intelligent and compassionate future leaders. I can personally testify that it is the gift I received as a student in the fifties in a Catholic grammar school, in the sixties in a Catholic high school and in a Catholic college. It is the gift that helped me discern my vocation to the priesthood.
If you are looking for a school or know someone who is, I strongly encourage you to consider a Catholic school and offer your child and the world the gift of a lifetime. A gift that will form and inform your child. Catholic schools work and they are a success academically, spiritually and humanly. In the Diocese of Camden we have a product of which I am very proud.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Dennis Sullivan, D.D. ,
Bishop of Camden