Greetings in Christ!
Welcome to October…I love this month.
I wanted to give you a little more information on the priest convocation from the diocese. Personally, I think the best part for me was the diocese inviting us to strip away all the “duties” of priesthood and look at who we are called to be. We looked at the promises we made back when we were ordained, we looked at a sheet that the diocese made with specific things that priests are called to do, for example “Are you in a support group?” or “Are you faithfully praying your breviary?” Things like that. It was a good challenge for me and the group I was assigned to also found it helpful.
Beyond that, there was a lot of talk about Catholic Schools and the RRM (Realigning Resources Mission). I think the most fascinating aspect was that the Witness to Hope Campaign gave the diocese a chance to offer assistance to people who needed it to send their kids to school. What the Witness to Hope allowed was about $500,000 in aid, but the applications for aid tend to exceed $2,400,000 each year. We are looking at aggressive plans to fill that gap so that everyone who wants to go to Catholic school can.
This is a goal at our parish as well. Right now at Holy Family, the Cost to Educate (CTE) is just under $6,000 per child, but our tuition is nowhere near that. Our Parish Family has stepped up tremendously to help us fill the gap between what we charge for tuition and what it actually costs and I pray we are in a position to continue doing this for a long time. There were a lot of stats from a massive data gathering that showed how going to Catholic Schools as young people radically increases the possibility that that child will continue to go to Church when they get older. I think the wildest stat was this: while only 3% of Catholic kids go to a Catholic school, Catholic school graduates account for 45% of our priests. How amazing is that?
As our secular system continues to fall into modern thinking that what the Church teaches is harmful, we have to work all the harder to ensure that every Catholic who wants has an opportunity to go to a Catholic school. We are not alone in this! The diocese recognizes that every parish with a school needs some help and are working on really creative ways to help. I’ll keep us updated as things go.
All through the days of convocation, I sat there grateful for you all. I have found such a wonderful home here and it is because of all of you. I thank you for loving me as I am and challenging me to be better.
God bless you all!