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Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

Feb. 3, 2016

From January 31 to February 6, we celebrate National Catholic Schools Week.  This Jubilee Year of Mercy provides us with a graced opportunity in which to reflect on how our Catholic schools help to form the minds and touch the hearts of our youth with Christian values that inspire genuine concern for every person made in God’s image and likeness.

As part of their religion curriculum, our students study and reflect upon the Gospels.  Here they learn about Jesus’ compassionate care and tender mercy for all of God’s children. 

As they come to know and celebrate the great gifts we have in each of the Sacraments, our students experience the power of God’s grace and forgiveness.  The Gospel value of giving respect to the dignity of every human person, a prerequisite for mercy, is a fundamental lesson in all course work. 

Every member of the Catholic school family applies this lesson of mercy each day in the classrooms, ball fields, basketball courts, cafeterias, the hallways and even in the principal’s office. 

More and more, our culture has dropped “mercy” as a virtue to be embraced. In a countercultural spirit, our schools work hard to provide an environment where mercy is not seen as a sign of weakness, but as a characteristic of the truly virtuous person. 

Mercy is more than an abstract concept to be learned, but a lesson to be lived.  To that end, the Community Service Programs of our Catholic schools enable our students to participate in a variety of works of mercy in the local neighborhoods.

Academic excellence continues to be a hallmark of our schools.  Inasmuch as schoolwork is graded justly (tempered with mercy, I’m sure), our Catholic schools maintain high academic standards. 

Our gifted teachers encourage and expect self-discipline and good study habits from our students while using the latest technology in our classrooms. 

Partnering with our parents, our Catholic Schools are truly Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.

Through the exercise of these integral dimensions of Catholic school life, our schools develop a culture of hope for tomorrow because students develop the self-confidence and community-mindedness that are essential features of a healthy society.  Our Catholic Christian faith instills in us the courage to walk the journey of faith Christ-led, Christ-fed, and Hope-filled. 

We are so grateful to all those who support our Catholic Schools.  They are such a gift to the North Country. I hope that our school families have a wonderful celebration of Catholic Schools Week.


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