Catholic schools must strive to form saints, says bishop

.- In his column in the Catholic Key, Bishop Robert W. Finn from the Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph emphasized that “Catholic schools exist for a supernatural purpose:” to assist students in developing virtue on their path to ‘eternal salvation.’ 

Around this time of year, the Bishop Finn began, “Students all over the diocese get their back packs together, some put on uniforms, and everyone begins getting up a bit earlier and ready for school…The new year begins and our Catholic schools remain a big part of it: for many generations - and for thousands of students.”

He noted that Catholic schools don’t focus solely on “measurable outcomes, or even helping students learn essential facts and marketable skills that prepare them for employment.”  But rather, “Catholic schools exist for a supernatural purpose.” 

Bishop Finn continued by emphasizing that the schools are “about the formation of men and women in all aspects of life and living. Each student must be what God intends him or her to be. They must be helped toward their eternal salvation.”

The schools must “lead to the development of men and women who live virtue, understand better the mystery and meaning of life, and who will be set on a path which acknowledges the mystery of the Cross and has heaven as its ultimate goal.”

To do this, Catholic schools must be based on “an authentic vision of what a person is and what his or her eternal destiny entails.”  Humans were not created for “material success or sexual gratification,” the prelate remarked.  “Rather, we are made for life-long faithful commitments that appropriately express our gender, our vocation and utilize our talents generously.”

Bishop Finn also noted the importance of prayer in Catholic schools.  “In our schools we pray. We need to pray. Prayer is a response to our sense of God's presence with us always, our readiness to be intercessors for one another, and the realization that we are persons constantly in need of God's light and grace. God is first, and when we put Him first, all the other good things find their proper place. We worship him in the community of the Church and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the font and highest expression of our life.”

“I pray that in our schools - from early childhood to university - we will be forming saints. Through obedience to the Holy Spirit, and His light entrusted to the Apostles, may our students begin to be more like Jesus Christ to the glory of the heavenly Father.”

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