My entire life I have been taught by the greatest teacher of all — Jesus — not only in church but in school as well.
The underlying mission for all Catholic schools is to provide a safe environment for learning and to strengthen a student’s relationship with the Lord. I grew up in the parochial school system where strong Catholic ideals helped to shape my values. The schools’ focus on spirituality as well as academics aims to bring students closer to God while preparing them for their future.
I am grateful to my parents for making the decision to enroll me into these appreciable schools. My experience with Catholic schools has strengthened my moral senses and helped me to establish a better perception of right and wrong.
I attended Our Lady of the Holy Souls School in Little Rock from ages 5 to 14. When I hear “Holy Souls” my head is flooded with fond memories. During my time at this school, I learned that Catholic teachers are heroes.
My teachers at Holy Souls taught me about my faith, and how to apply it to the real world. These teachers put the growth of their students before themselves, and they serve as a true example of selflessness. They do not teach for the pay or for the summer vacation; they teach because they are called by God to do so. Teachers are underappreciated and deserve more praise for their patience and wisdom.
I currently attend Catholic High School for Boys. Catholic High states its philosophy is best summed up by the title of a Catholic bishop’s letter, “To teach as Jesus did.” Catholic High emphasizes integrity, honor and faith. These elements of virtue allow Christian students to strengthen their faith without losing focus on academics. Catholic High is a very special place to me. It is a place where boys come to become men and a place where young men who are lost can come to find God.
It is no secret that there has been turmoil in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, there is now a stigma on the Church as well as the Catholic school system. It is our job as the youth to remove the stain on people’s perception of the Catholic Church. No amount of scandal can stop us from practicing our faith.
From an outsider’s perspective, Catholic school teachers and the Catholic Church are at a standstill as we try to work our way through this problem, but we students have not let any amount of objection effect our pursuit of academia. Our students continue to thrive.
If you are a parent considering placing your child in a Catholic school, you should consider the wellness of your child before all else. It is true you can maintain a healthy set of Christian values in the public school system, but it is much easier to do so at Catholic school.
You may be put off by the price tag that comes with a private education, but my parents as well as millions of others will say that it is worth it. Price should not be a factor when considering the spiritual prosperity of your child. To experience the sense of family that comes with being a member of a parish school is one of the special things in life that you cannot put a price on.
I believe that friendships and relationships formed through a common belief create a lasting bond that will stand the test of time.
As a senior at Catholic High I now understand the meaning of brotherhood. We have learned together, laughed together and worshipped together. We have also made mistakes together and cried together. For this, I am thankful. For the lessons, the memories and the values I will keep with me for the rest of my life.
Matthew Findlay is a senior at Catholic High School in Little Rock. He attends Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church.
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