Column: Special week sheds light on special folks

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:

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:

When I was growing up, my grandfather would tell me that the only things in life that are guaranteed are growing older, death and taxes.

The point he was making was that we have to work hard for everything in life. There is no such thing as entitlement — there are no free lunches! Those of you with vintage understand; the rest of you hang around for more conversation.

Catholic Schools Week was last week. There are those who say that Catholic schools are noted for their faith-based education, academic excellence and commitment to service. I believe this is true. However, in my mind, there is much more.

During Catholic Schools Week, there is an excitement around our schools like no other time during the school year. We have parishes and schools in our archdiocese whose focus is to help give others the opportunity to attend one of our CEF schools. We have CEF schools helping kids at other CEF schools — that is totally awesome! We have benefactors who are further motivated during this time to support additional children who want to attend one of our schools but don’t have the means to do so.

With the majority of our scholarship recipients living below the poverty level, attending one of our Catholic schools is a tremendous opportunity for them to thrive in an environment where they are cared for and seen as important and full of potential. It is in this environment that these students can and will succeed. It is in our Catholic schools where they learn how to live and develop a relationship with God.

It is also an environment that would not be made available to them without your help! Your support is allowing students to learn to live in a world where excellence, honesty, integrity and using one’s ability in the service of others are expected.

Our CEF families and students do not take this opportunity for granted. We hear from them on a regular basis, thanking us and telling us what a difference our Catholic schools are making in their lives. Each family works very hard — most of the time working two or more jobs — to pay their fair share. They understand that there are no guarantees, there are no free lunches.

Following Catholic Schools Week and the rest of the year, please know that you are assisting in positively changing the lives of children currently needing help. That is guaranteed!

If my grandpa was still living, I would tell him that the other guarantee in life, thanks to you, is CEF’s commitment to provide scholarships for children in need. I know he would be pleased!

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Michael Morrisey

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