Column: Help make Catholic education available to all who seek it

by Michael Morrisey

During the last three years with CEF, I have been asked numerous times, “Why ‘Catholic’ education?” The question makes me think back to my days in Catholic schools.

I have many fond (well, mostly fond) memories of my Catholic school upbringing as follows:

• Father Brophy teaching us how to serve Mass and grilling us on our Latin responses. (I am really not that old; I just remember people talking about it.)

• Sister John Joseph suggesting that I stand up straight — it really wasn’t a suggestion.

• Serving Mass at 6 a.m. at St. John’s Hospital.

• Not believing that Sister Mary Johanna could really make a free throw!

• Father Davern helping Dad and Mom figure out a creative way to make the required tuition payments.

• Father Santa providing “after hours” growing up direction for a kid that really needed it!

All of these memories are good ones. I could go on and on.

We asked the same question of our CEF school kids and received the following responses:

• We get to learn about Jesus; we can talk about God.

• The food is good. (I am not sure where this one came from.)

• We pray, sing and listen at church.

• We get to wear uniforms. (Mom sold this one.)

• My friends go to the public school; there is just something different about our school.

• The teachers are great — they are like family.

Catholic schools shape our kids’ spiritual lives and character, in addition to providing quality academics. School administrators, along with our teaching staffs, are doing what they are doing because they have been called to do it. The ability to talk about God and our faith, plus pray in the structured educational setting that our Catholic schools provide, is like no other.

I know, I know, I am preaching to the choir. However, we still have many children that are not afforded this opportunity because of money! Sad, but, true!

CEF provides scholarships for children in need. Our current scholarship drive ends the last day of April. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to help with our mission of making Catholic education available to all that seek it. How can we not? It is the future of our children, and our children are an integral part of the future of the church!

This year, the Catholic Education Foundation will provide scholarships for 1,138 kids. We could help another 1,138 go to Catholic schools if we had the resources.

For more information about CEF and how you can help, please call (913) 647-0383 or go to the Web site at: www.cefks.org.

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