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William Booth is the Major Gift Officer for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago Department of Stewardship and Development.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Value of Catholic Schools

Catholic schools are examples of what is good and just in our society.  Our superintendent of schools, Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey OP, makes it abundantly clear wherever she goes that our schools are one of the nation’s best, providing educational opportunities to thousands of at-risk and middle class children.

Children are taught to respect themselves and others; they learn self-control and responsibility.  Prayer is part of the students’ daily lives and they learn how to make good moral choices grounded in the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church. Children of all backgrounds are offered the kind of education that addresses the needs of the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.

Not a day goes by without hearing heartfelt stories from parents and children asking for financial assistance.  Stories center around loss of job and worse, bankruptcy or home foreclosure; health problems from a physical disability to cancer to Alzheimer’s disease, even the murder of a parent who was the “breadwinner.” 

A major event held every year to help support such families find hope is the “Capital for Kids” gathering held in late November.  Photos of the recent event are of families that have children with very different age ranges from kindergarten to high school.  The families are presented the awards by Cardinal George with hundreds of enthusiastic guests looking on.

Dominica Butler with son Ethan, an 8th grader at St. Lawrence O’Toole school in Matteson, accepting the award from Cardinal George, as his uncle, Edward Butler, looks on.

These families were given the hope and inspiration that comes with knowing their child’s Catholic education is assured for the next year.  The joy of giving was abundant in the guests that made for such a wonderful evening at this special time of year.  

Victor and Debbie Hernandez with daughters Emma and Dalia, 2nd and Kindergarten students at St. Anastasia school in Waukegan. Mrs. Lourdes Mon, the prinicpal and Cardinal George are highlighted in the picture.

My appeal to all those this Christmas is for those that find the joy in giving to think of our Catholic schools and the hope they bring to families stricken with hardship.  God bless everyone for a Merry and joyful Christmas.

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