Column: Help CEF families try ‘just one more time’ for a Catholic education

CEF Centered

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:

I hope this writing finds each of you well following the Sunday of Divine Mercy.

With this article I will attempt to mix a little educational humor with some heartfelt family situations and a mercy thought.

Let’s start with some educational “winter- is-almost-behind-us” humor. The following is a story to which anyone who has ever taken care of small children can relate:

One day, a kindergarten teacher was helping a student who was struggling to put on his winter boots. The teacher was pulling and the boy was pushing, but the boots still wouldn’t go on.

Finally, when they got both boots on and the teacher was nearly out of breath, the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.”

She looked down and, sure enough, they were. The teacher managed to keep her cool as they worked together to get the boots back on the right feet. Then the boy announced, “These aren’t my boots.”

In disbelief, the teacher bit her tongue and pulled the boots off just in time for the boy to say, “They’re my brother’s boots. My mom made me wear them.”

The teacher didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots onto his feet again and then she asked, “Now, where are your gloves?” The boy replied, “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots.”

As Thomas Edison once said, and this story reflects, “One of our greatest weaknesses lies in giving up. The most certain way for anyone to succeed is always trying just one more time.”

We have approximately five weeks left in this school year. As the semester comes to a close, some of our CEF families are struggling to make their year-end tuition payments. Some of the reasons are as follows: Dad lost his job, a single mom lost her job, their work hours were reduced, the family had to pay for a parent’s funeral expenses, their house burned down, money is needed to put food on the table, the family had additional expenses because of a child’s medical emergency, and so on.

For many CEF families, financial challenges are ongoing and, as a result, paying for a Catholic education is nearly impossible. However, they don’t give up. They are resolute in finding a way. They work with the principal and pastor to figure it out. In addition, without the CEF’s help, they wouldn’t have a prayer (no pun intended).

During this Year of Mercy, I encourage you to consider helping a CEF child currently living in poverty. There is no better time than the present. YOU can be the springboard for them trying just one more time!


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Michael Morrisey

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