Message from our Pastor

 

Message from our Pastor, Fr. David Belt (Jan 29, 2017)

The week of January 29 to February 4 has been designated as Catholic Schools’ Week. Since 1974, all Catholic schools in the United States have used these days in late January and early February to celebrate our faith and to give thanks for those who make Catholic education possible. As we begin this celebration, I would like to offer some thoughts on Catholic education in general and on the mission of Catholic education in the parish.

Catholic schools in America were established in the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in November of 1884. The hierarchy of America directed that “a parochial school should be erected in each parish and be maintained forever.” The Church’s commitment to Catholic education has been further communicated through the teachings of Vatican Council II and in documents from all levels of Church hierarchy, where the Church has been very clear on the primary place that Catholic schools have in the mission of the Church and of particular parishes. The Church teaches that evangelization is our primary mission; that she must proclaim the good news of salvation to all and train people to live as children of God. To carry out this saving mission, the Church “establishes her own schools because she considers them as a privileged means of promoting the formation of the whole man…” Like all of the other ministries in the Church, Catholic schools are a part of the mission of the entire Church. They are not the exclusive obligation of parents who have children in them. To pass on the faith and the traditions of our Church is the responsibility of all of us who count ourselves as Catholic.

For most of our years of existence as a parish, the people of Saint Patrick have had a strong commitment to Catholic education. Many sacrifices have been made to assure that we have a solid, growing, Catholic school for our children. We are grateful to the many individuals and families from the past who have worked tirelessly to make Archbishop Bergan Catholic School what it is today. It is up to all of us at Saint Patrick to work together to build a Catholic school community that we are proud of. As our ancestors knew very well, we know that building a solid Catholic school takes a lot of work and financial support. The children of our parish are counting on you to make sure that we have the people and the resources available to teach them about our Catholic faith and traditions.

I am proud of Archbishop Bergan Catholic School and I hope that you are too. Above all else, we have to believe that God is present and that the Holy Spirit is at work in every person. With great faith we step into a very bright future, for through us God is preparing the next generation of faithful adult Catholics. At Saint Patrick Parish, Catholic education is our heritage and our legacy.

“Catholic education is an expression of the mission entrusted by Jesus to the Church He founded. Through education the Church seeks to prepare its members to proclaim the Good News and to translate this proclamation into action.” –“To teach as Jesus did,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1972.