Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Fr. Chuck's Column, February 17, 2019

We are now into the second semester of the school year, and while the beginning of next school year is still far off, I know that parents are beginning to think about enrollment for their children for next year.
With this in mind I would like to remind our parish parents of school age children about our wonderful parish school. 
In some places where the Paulists are located, our schools fill up quickly because the academics are so much better than the surrounding public schools.  Fortunately, we do not have that situation here.  Our public schools are very good at academics. 
But there is more to education than just learning a lot of knowledge. As important as that is, even more important is the education in character.  Recently I read about a Catholic school in India which asserts, “We nourish children in spirituality and faith.  These give the children a moral and ethical compass.” And that is true, I hope, of all Catholic schools. Certainly I find that to be true of our St. Austin School. This approach is well expressed in the school’s motto: “Non scholae, sed vitae,” or“Not school, but life.” Our students are not only well prepared academically but also with Christian Catholic virtues and ideals to assist them for life as well-rounded persons and productive members of society. 
Of course, this sort of education starts and is most fully inculcated at home. Our students in public school receive this training at home, and it is supplemented by the very good faith formation program of our parish.
Still, some parents want to make sure that this education, not only in academics, but in life skills and faith, be reinforced in school.  When I was pastor at Old Saint Mary’s in San Francisco, the enrollment of St. Mary’s Chinese school was only 10% Christian.  Not Catholic, but Christian! 90% were not Christian, but their parents wanted good academics for their children and were also very concerned that the children learn in an atmosphere that stressed and reinforced strong family values. And so they valued Catholic education. And I think so should we.
I invite all the families of our parish to consider St. Austin Catholic School. You can check out our parish school’s website at www.staustinschool.org. 

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