by Kara Hansen
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — For many of the families served by the Catholic Education Foundation, a simple “thank you” just isn’t enough.
“Being able to send our child to a Catholic school here is such a relief. We’re so blessed to have it as an option for an education that is supportive of our Catholic beliefs,” said Kelley Murphy, a parishioner at Sacred Heart Parish in Ottawa.
That’s why she was delighted to have the chance to thank Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and the director of CEF face to face for the support they’ve received.
Murphy’s son Jackson is a first-grader at Sacred Heart. Though Murphy said she and her husband, Ryan, always hoped to send their children to Catholic schools, they were not sure if it was something they could afford. Jackson’s sister has spina bifida and the medical treatment and services required by her disease strain the family’s finances.
“Without the foundation, it would be really hard for us to afford a Catholic education. CEF has been an incredible blessing,” said Murphy.
Murphy said she has already seen the impact the Catholic environment has had on her son — from how he beams when chosen to read at Mass to his enthusiasm when asked to help his classmates.
“It’s been great to see him grasp the Catholic faith,” said Murphy.
The Murphys, along with four other families whose children are served by CEF, had the opportunity to share with Archbishop Naumann how much they appreciate a Catholic education for their sons and daughters. Archbishop Naumann hosted the five families at a Mass and dinner at his residence in December.
“This was a chance to bring CEF parents closer to Archbishop Naumann, and the archbishop closer to them,” said Michael Morrisey, executive director for CEF. “Having that chance to share with one another gives the families a better understanding of the commitment Archbishop Naumann has made to Catholic education, and it helps him understand better the commitment these families make regardless of their socioeconomic situation.”
Families that participated were nominated by their children’s principals.
“We shared stories of what a Catholic education means to us,” said Murphy. “It was great to be able to relate to some of the bigger Catholic schools by talking to the different families, and it was incredible to hear everyone’s stories.”