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Column: CEF schools provide ‘home away from home’ for some kids

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at: mmorrisey@archkck.org.

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at: mmorrisey@archkck.org.

by Michael Morrisey

I was set to share quotes from brilliant people talking about the importance of Catholic education as this school year comes to a close.

This thought process was in an effort to establish priority thinking for the 2013-14 school year — then I received an inspiring phone call.

It was a little after eleven when my cell rang. The call was from a CEF school mom. I would characterize her as distraught. She has three children in one of our CEF schools. She is a single mom currently without a job and struggling to make her school payments. The dad does not provide assistance and, per the mom, is a negative influence on the family. There is a happy ending to this story, so don’t fret. But I want to share with you why she thinks it is important for her kids to be in our school.

She started with her oldest daughter who is just now feeling comfortable with her peers and teachers. The daughter comes home almost every day jabbering away (her words) about the day and how cool it is to sing in church. Her daughter has friends that do not go to the same school and are in and out of trouble with the authorities. She recognizes that the Catholic school will help her daughter find the right way.

The eight-year-old is also a girl, who has aspirations to be a teacher. She has chosen this profession because she wants to be able to help kids just like her. The mom calls our CEF school a “home away from home,” where she knows her kids are safe.

The third child is a boy. Understand that he is only seven, but he wants to be president of the United States. He does not make very good grades and oftentimes struggles to comprehend. His favorite class is religion because he gets to learn about God and the saints.

The mom was adamant that her kids need to be in our Catholic school because it is the best way for them to get to heaven!

In closing, I have to share one brilliant quote with you. It comes from one of our CEF founding fathers, Tom Zarda, speaking at a recent St. Thomas Aquinas Hall of Fame dinner: “If Catholic education is only for the rich, then we have failed!”

And yes, we figured out a way to keep her kids in our CEF Catholic school.

For more information on how to help provide scholarships for children in need, go to the website at: www.cefks.org.

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Michael Morrisey

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