[Some Catholic school students in the Diocese of Dallas begin heading back to the classroom on Tuesday, August 12th. That makes them among the first students in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to begin the 2014-2015 school year. Please visit the Catholic Diocese of Dallas website to see the full list of start dates for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas.]
It is again a time of new beginnings as a new school year gets underway, making new friends, new teachers, new subjects, new challenges and new opportunities. A whole new world will open up for those children who will begin school for the first time.
Of course their education is not really just beginning. That began when as an infant they first began scrutinizing their hand or their foot. Their first educational institution is their home and their first teachers are their mother and father and other family members.
Pope Francis reminded us recently that “the fundamental institutions for the education of children and youth are the family and the school.” They must complement each other. We know now that the matrix of our life is formed in the family. Our life-long values are rooted in our family of origin.
Which brings to mind something else our Holy Father reminded us of recently, “the importance of proper religious education, in particular for the transmission of religious and moral values.” That is the difference in Catholic Educational Institutions, religious and moral values permeate the educational process. Religious education is more than subject matter. It is encountering Jesus in a Christian atmosphere, building on the living witness of the family.
Catholic school teachers and administrators are dedicated to the concept of a Christian value centered education for our children. For them it is a sacred trust.
Please join me in praying for our students and their teachers in Catholic and public schools throughout the Diocese of Dallas that this will be a year of academic and spiritual growth.
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish