5th Sunday OTB

Catholic School Week

A Sunday school teacher asked her pupils, “Now, children, do you all say your prayers at night?” A little boy answered: “My Mommy says my prayers.” “I see,” said the teacher, “and what does your Mother say?” Replied the little boy: “THANK GOD HE’S IN BED!”

A school teacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of school: “If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I’ll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home.”

Dear friends! We wind up Catholic School week this weekend. I cite a study by Georgetown University, which had interesting conclusions: 1. 44% of Catholics who attend a Catholic high school graduate from college, while the figure is 28% for those attending a public school. 2. Those who attend a Catholic high school are more likely, later in life, to say they would never leave the Catholic Church, and to say that Faith and prayer are high priorities. Again, it gives a boost. 3. Young men attending a Catholic school are more than twice as likely to consider a vocation as a priest, and the same for young women regarding a religious vocation.

We have a religious education program, with volunteers who deserve our thanks; we have programs from pre-K to grade 8 on Sunday mornings and evenings 9 to 12 grade with youth group. I thank all the staff of school and the parish; I thank all the CCD Teachers for your love and commitment to our school and the parish. I also thank all the benefactors and donors of the school. Thank God for Hutchin’s fund that keeps our school going.

I have told you so many times and again I say we need to focus on our school as community. Parish and the school are not two separate entities. If there is no parish, there won’t be St. Joseph School in our parish. Therefore I request all Staff, parents and parish community to work together to promote our school. It’s my prayer that all the Catholic children of our parish community go through our school.

I have completed two years and begin my third year in this parish. In my two years I spent more time on the concerns/issues of the school than parish. There is hardly any week I have not walked into the school office or class rooms. I love to celebrate Mass for the school children, help to them to grow in their faith.

The purpose of the Catholic Schools it to help parents educate their children in the ways of faith within a context of sound educational principles and values. But parents need to understand that home is the most important center of religious education. The home is the true heart and soul of religious belief and practice. Therefore parents, it is important that you set an example for your children to grow in faith. If you don’t come with your children every Sunday to the church, you can’t expect them to be in the church when they grow old.

In today’s gospel we see Jesus curing Peter’s mother-in-law. As soon as she was cured she waited on them; in other words she served them. Jesus helped her and she expressed her gratitude to Jesus and companions by serving them. All those studied in our school and are studying now Jesus wants you learn from Peter’s mother-in-law how to be grateful to God and one another for the gift received.

We heard in the gospel, before Jesus could finish his morning prayers his disciples hunt him down and inform him that an even larger crowd has gathered with their sick and infirm and that everyone is looking for him. But Jesus says no, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do” (Mark 1:38).

Excuse me! Proclaim the message? What message is greater that healing the sick and restoring to them their human dignity that has been disfigured by sickness and poverty? Isn’t that essentially what Jesus came for? Well, not exactly. Jesus came to bring good news to the poor (Luke 4:18). This good news is spiritual and material just as the human person is soul and body. But when it comes to order of priority, the spiritual comes first, then the material.

Your parents and grandparents sacrificed and built the Catholic schools. Present parents also need to make the same sacrifice because of the spiritual values your children will get. God bless you!