A Christmas Reflection
As the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season moves into high gear it is also a good time to stop and reflect on the gifts that have been given and received over the course of many years. What I am referring to is the gift of a Catholic Education. At the heart of a Catholic Education is commitment. Every generation has witnessed a core group of parents, teachers, and staff who have shown remarkable determination to maintain Catholic schools and keep them alive in spite of rising tuitions.
More than forty years ago my parents made the decision to send me to a Catholic school. At that time as today tuition was a major consideration. I did not understand or appreciate my parent’s gift of this quality education until years later. Here at Covington Latin School parents continue to sacrifice and pay tuition to assure an excellent education for their children. This gift should never be overlooked or taken for granted.
The monks and teachers I had in school were demanding, yet fair. They dedicated their lives to the education of young men. This educational philosophy was not unique to Benedictine High School in Cleveland, Ohio but was found at every Catholic school. Here at Covington Latin School, this devotion is just as evident. Then and now the gift of Catholic school teachers should never be diminished.
We recently had our Open House for prospective students. The entrance exam is tomorrow. Potential students and their parents are searching their hearts to determine if a quality Catholic education is worth the price of tuition. They have heard the list of reasons why they should attend: faith-based environment; quality education; small class sizes; caring teachers; and the list goes on.
One additional consideration is found in a research study conducted by the University of Notre Dame. The rise of evangelical Christian schools shows that other Christian communities have learned what some Catholics have forgotten or are willing to ignore—that there is no substitute for spending 35 hours each week in an educational environment permeated by faith and Gospel values. The study concludes:
To those who wonder how we can afford to make the investment necessary to sustain, strengthen, and expand Catholic schools, we respond by turning the question on its head. How can we afford not to make this investment? Our future depends on it more that we may suspect.
As we fast approach the Christmas Season let us thank our Newborn Savior for the gift of Catholic Education and for the sacrifices of all dedicated to its success: parents, students, teachers, and school staff. Finally, may Emmanuel come and reside within you and all you love this season and every season of your life. Merry Christmas!