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A message from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. for Catholic Schools Week 2020

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Every generation has the obligation and responsibility to educate the next generation. That involves the teaching of subjects like math and science, language and literature, history and health, among others.

In public discourse, there is much discussion about the efficacy and success of public school systems throughout the United States. It is frequently the fodder for political debate, although politicians often seem to forget about it once the election is over. Citizens pay taxes to support our public schools with mixed results. Some public schools have excellent success rates, teaching well and graduating their students, while others seem incapable of digging themselves out of the hole of consistent disappointment and failure.

Catholics are no less bound to educate their young in the same subjects than their public counterparts. There is something else, however; something that is more than just a subject in the curriculum that is not found in public schools. Rather, that something is an atmosphere, a culture, an environment, a spirit, yes, even a vernacular that pervades the Catholic school community … and that is the Catholic faith.

In the Catholic school, the Catholic religion is a subject to be taught, learned, loved and lived well beyond the doors of the Catholic school building. Although, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, Catholic parents have always been considered the primary teachers of the Catholic faith by the Catholic Church, they depend upon Catholic schools to support and strengthen what they believe as Catholics. Catholic education — whether in the Catholic school, the parish religious education program or in the Catholic home school — truly Catholic education is the best and most important way for parents to hand on, nurture and promote the Catholic faith for and within the next generation. To neglect or surrender this obligation, whatever the reason, is to risk the loss of the Catholic faith not only for this generation but for generations to come. […continue reading]

A salute to the graduates of the Class of 2020

JoAnn Tier, Superintendent of Catholic Schools

It is a pleasure to celebrate and salute the graduating Class of 2020!

This school year has been filled with unanticipated experiences and a discontinuation of all that was routine. Many milestones that define the rites of passage of senior year were not to materialize.

Yet as students, you relied on your faith, personal grit, persistence and self-discipline as the future became apparent month by month.

We live in a complex world that needs healing on many levels. Health issues dominate the world as we search for a cure for COVID-19. Racism, rebellions, refugees and starving children across the globe are becoming commonplace. Our environment has been abused and stripped of natural resources. Threats appear to our economy and to national security.

How will these problems be addressed? Who will be called to solve them?

With graduation, it is likely that you look to the future and ponder questions such as: […continue reading]

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  • “One of the bigger differences between Catholic and public education is the ability to share openly in our beliefs, and to use the way of Christ as a guide for ourselves and our students. Academically we … are able to focus more on the whole child instead of standardized assessment.”

    Salavatore Chiaravalloti
    Principal, St. Ann School, Lawrenceville
  • “It’s always a joy to share the things that make Catholic schools special.”

    Melina Stern
    Sixth Grade Teacher, Trenton Catholic Academy, Lower School
  • Learning ‘happens’ in a Catholic school because teaching puts the student and his/her needs first. There, knowledge and truth are ‘experienced’ by them through the dedication and commitment of professionals who believe in what they teach as a revelation of God’s goodness and love for the world he has created. Religion and all the other academic subjects, integrated and taught so effectively and comprehensively, are a ‘package deal’ in a Catholic school.”

    Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
    Tenth Bishop of Trenton
  • “Catholic schools exist to teach students about God and to integrate the faith in all areas of the curriculum. The faith-life of students will be supported as enhanced curriculum guidelines immerse the teachings of the Gospel into all subjects providing resources for faculty implementation.”

    JoAnn Tier
    Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Trenton
  • “Just as challenges to healthy Catholic schools increase with each passing year, so, too, must the number of priests and parishes who are willing to champion them. ”

    Rayanne Bennett
    Associate Publisher, The Monitor; Executive Director of Communications
  • “We educate the mind, body and spirit of our students…the academic rigor, opportunity for Christian service and co-curricular activities are top notch. Receiving a Catholic education gives the student the whole package.”

    Joanna Barlow
    Principal, Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceveille
  • “The mission for the [Catholic] curriculum is to prepare the students for success in their readings, writing, speaking and listening skills across all disciplines. The vision encompasses the mindset to guide students to become lifelong learners, to read widely, become culturally literate, to use written and verbal communication to express opinions and to demonstrate critical analysis while infusing the tenets of our Catholic faith.”

    Dr. Margaret Boland
    Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools
  • “The three main values I learned in Catholic school were faith, compassion and accountability.”

    Jimmy Yacabonis
    Starting Pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles & St. Benedict School Alumni