by Vince Anch
I was fortunate enough to attend a special gathering that Archbishop Naumann hosts each year for parents of Catholic Education Foundation scholarship students.
Hearing how the scholarship impacted these parents and their children made a powerful impression on me and all those who attended.
The archbishop began the gathering with Mass in the chapel at his residence, which set the tone for a special evening. During the dinner that followed, each parent shared personal stories about how a scholarship from the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) made their dreams of sending their children to a Catholic school come true.
One of the parents, a single mother, shared that she has to work two jobs to make ends meet. Without a CEF scholarship, she would not be able to send her children to a Catholic school.
She still makes daily sacrifices to contribute her share of the tuition, which is very important to her and gives her a sense of pride. She said that without the scholarship, her children would have no choice but to attend a nearby neighborhood school that struggles with discipline issues and safety.
Another parent who fled his native country of Burma to come to America to practice his faith shared his amazing story.
The Burmese military government has shut down Christian churches, forcing thousands of people to flee to countries where they can openly practice their faith.
His family ended up in Kansas City and is filled with joy because, with CEF’s assistance, his children can live and grow in their faith while attending a Catholic school. Certainly many Americans take this freedom for granted.
Another parent spoke about how much her children have grown in their faith by attending a Catholic school and how that has inspired the faith of the whole family.
There were many other stories from these gracious parents who cherish the support they get through CEF scholarships.
They expressed deep gratitude and asked me to forward their appreciation to all the generous donors who support CEF scholarships. So, I share a special “thank you” with each of you on behalf of the families we serve.
Sometimes, we take for granted how much impact our Catholic schools make on families. By providing high-quality academic environments and daily opportunities to live the faith, our schools are helping children change the fortunes of families, neighborhoods and our whole community.
This would not be possible without the generosity and support that CEF receives from its kind donors and committed volunteers.
These are just a few examples of how supporting the Catholic Education Foundation has a profound effect on the lives of hundreds of children in our very own archdiocese.