Letter From Msgr Perkinton
Dear Friends in Christ,
When someone asks about Catholic schools I’m immediately drawn to a saying of Pope Pius XI. He said, “The soul of education is the education of the soul.” Sure, Catholic schools do great work in forming the intellect, developing physical skills, drawing forth artistic creativity and providing an environment where social skills and good relationships can flourish. Yet, man is a unity of body and soul, and what would all this mean if our schools neglected the most important ‘half’ of a student? The soul, the spiritual center of a person, is at the center of our concerns.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical on Christian hope, writes: “Today as in the past, this is what being baptized, becoming Christians, is all about: it is not just an act of socialization within the community, not simply a welcome into the Church. The parents expect more for the one to be baptized: they expect that faith…will give life to their child—eternal life.”
Parents do expect the animating grace of baptism to transform the very center of their children. And they expect Catholic schools to help them help their children to live the new life of Jesus unto eternal life. This is what we, as Catholic school educators, strive to do every day. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, assisting the Church in her mission to bring each generation to the saving love of Christ. As such, Catholic schools are not organizations simply tacked on to the side of the Church. We are an integral part of the Church and her mission.
In this understanding, the Catholic school is a rich investment in the future of Church and one of the most important elements of the New Evangelization.
I appreciate greatly the strong and prayerful support that Catholic schools have received in the diocese throughout the decades, and I look to a future even brighter than the past – all for the salvation of souls, and for the greater glory of God.
Thank you for your support of Catholic schools. May God bless you abundantly.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Msgr. John Perkinton