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EDITORIAL | Catholic Schools Week is a celebration of faith, service, excellence — and perseverance

Catholic schools persevere in providing an environment that permits the continued education of children in faith

The theme of this year’s Catholic Schools Week is based on three important words: faith, excellence and service.

But we would like to add one more word — perseverance.

In the midst of a global pandemic, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have gone above and beyond to provide a quality Catholic education to students as they returned to the classroom in the fall of 2020. There was thorough planning to develop safety protocols and policies, all of which were guided by local governments and health officials. Leadership teams at each elementary and high school determined best practices for their communities.

That sort of planning has made a difference, so that schools could continue in their formation of students, both spiritually and academically. As described in this edition of the St. Louis Review, students at St. Mary Magdalen School in Brentwood began a new curriculum this year that explores concepts related to Theology of the Body, presented through age-appropriate lessons.

Elsewhere, students preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation at Immaculate Conception School in Union are learning to be witnesses to the faith through service to the community, through projects such as collecting sports equipment for children in need, and another program that focuses on substance abuse prevention.

At Catholic schools in the North County Deanery, students are learning STEM concepts through hands-on experiences, thanks to a new shared technology library, made possible through a grant from Beyond Sunday.

There are 6,183 Catholic elementary and secondary schools in the United States, according to the National Catholic Educational Association. Within these schools, a welcoming and safe environment nurtures learners, combining faith teachings and traditions, along with academic excellence.

The Second Vatican Council proclaimed that the “Holy Mother Church must be concerned with the whole of man’s life, even the secular part of it insofar as it has a bearing on his heavenly calling. Therefore she has a role in the progress and development of education” (“Gravissimum Educationis,” Preface). The U.S. bishops have noted that education remains critically important in the formation of the human person by teaching how to live well now, so as to be able to live with God for all eternity.

Catholic schools serve the faith community as well as society by educating children, young people and adults to contribute to the common good. These students go on to become active and caring members of the communities, cities, and nation in which they live.

We commend our Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis for their perseverance, so that the tradition of promoting the faith, upholding academic excellence and generosity through service may continue.

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