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Editorial | Catholic schools help youth be their best baptized selves

Second-grader Nora Alfermann listened to her teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes School in University City on Aug. 27.
Photo Credits: Lisa Johnston
Pope Francis offers a guide to Catholic education when he urges us to create the material and spiritual conditions for young people’s full development. This will give them a solid basis on which to build their lives; guaranteeing their safety and their education will help them to be everything they can be, the pope explains.

With the help of many, many parishioners and others, that is what Catholic educators are doing in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The key is the help they receive.

Catholic education addresses the development of the whole person through spiritual and academic formation based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our schools serve both the faith community and society by educating children, young people and adults to contribute to the common good by becoming active and caring members of the communities in which they live.

In this Back in School issue, we tell the stories of the Catholic and academic formation of youth.

School leaders, teachers, parents, volunteers and others are doing their part to assist in the full development of children so they can “be everything they can be” as Pope Francis pointed out. We need more people to add their support — by contributing financially, serving as volunteers and offering other support.

Here are some places to start:

• The Annual Catholic Appeal supports Catholic education with more than $3.8 million in grants to schools and scholarship programs. See www.archstl.org/aca

• The Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri was established to fulfill a key promise of Alive in Christ! — to enhance financial resources for schools and tuition assistance for Catholic families. See www.rcfstl.org.

• The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation — following the example of Jesus Christ in His service to those in need — assists faith-based and private schools in providing quality, affordable and accessible educational opportunities for any economically disadvantaged family within the St. Louis region by generating financial assistance in the form of scholarships from local and national funding sources. See www.ttef-stl.org

For more information about Catholic education and formation, see www.archstl.org/education

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