Contributors From the super

Among pandemic’s silver linings is a chance to evangelize

Vince Cascone is the superintendent of archdiocesan schools.

by Vince Cascone

As I write this article, it is Jan. 19. Yesterday, we celebrated the life of the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, President Trump gave his farewell address to the nation. Tomorrow, President-elect Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

The country is still reeling in chaos from the violence in our Capitol on Jan. 6, as well as the eight months of riots that plagued cities across our nation. Over 400,000 people have died from the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States. The disregard for the unborn through legalized abortion, as well as acts of racial hatred and injustice, show our struggle to see the dignity of each human person.

In this time of chaos, political unrest and violence, we need peace. As Catholic Christians, we know that true peace can only come from the Prince of Peace, our savior Jesus.

In the midst of this chaotic world, over 13,000 children in 42 schools are learning about the Prince of Peace and his mother Mary, the Queen of Peace.

They are learning about our God who loves and pursues each one of them.

As I visit schools throughout the archdiocese, I am blessed to witness this in action. At each school I visit, I have the privilege of meeting with teachers, as well as students, in small groups.

Just last week, I visited Corpus Christi School in Lawrence. The group of teachers I met with were certainly an awesome representation of the faculty and staff members throughout the archdiocese who help to bring our children into a relationship with Our Lord.

As we were discussing the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to our classrooms, we began to discuss the “silver linings” that have also presented themselves.

For example, the third grade teachers talked about a number of students who have transferred from the public schools to Corpus Christi.

The teachers explained how they had to adjust the religion curriculum and their lessons in an effort to make sure their new students knew some of the things the other students had already learned.

They spoke of examples of how the students would help one another and explain things to each other. They spoke of how their third graders became evangelists for one another, talking about and teaching about God.

What a silver lining, indeed.  

From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, we celebrate Catholic Schools Week. Throughout the week, we celebrate those who help make our Catholic schools sacred spaces where each person’s relationship with God is front and center and where each child can begin to recognize his/her talents and calling.

Our Catholic schools are a vital ministry of the archdiocese. I want to ask you for your prayers, along with your gifts of your time, talent and treasure to the archdiocese and to your local parish and school, as we strive to surround our young people with the peace that can only come from a relationship with Our Lord.

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Vince Cascone

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