Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is with joy, enthusiasm and purpose-driven mission, that I invite you to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week from Jan. 27, through Feb. 2. Together we recognize the extraordinary contribution that our Catholic schools across Long Island make by forming young missionary disciples on fire with love for our Lord Jesus and the mission of the Catholic Church.
At the same time, we recognize our collective responsibility towards the future of Catholic education in our Diocese. Enrollment and investment in our Catholic schools depends on the leadership of each individual Catholic. Our willingness to witness to the transformative and destiny-changing experience of Catholic education to the families we meet makes all the difference.
On Oct. 14, 2018, we celebrated the canonization of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, a Catholic martyr who made the ultimate sacrifice of his life while celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This occurred during his homily on March 24, 1980, at the chapel of the Divine Providencia Cancer Hospital.
As a family, we must continue to embrace his Episcopal motto: “Sentir con la Iglesia” or “Feel with the Church,” a motto which means to experience, to live and to walk with the People of God. Our Catholic schools provide an opportunity for our young people to engage in service to our church and faith community, bringing to life Catholic Social Justice teaching and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
Pope Saint John Paul II once said: “In order that the Catholic school and the Catholic teacher may truly make their irreplaceable contribution to the church and to the world, the goal of Catholic education itself must be crystal clear. Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others.”
In Catholic Schools Week 2019, our Catholic schools recommit themselves to helping parents and extended families form successful, servant leaders who help drive dramatic missionary growth on Long Island and beyond.
With prayers for our shared mission and gratitude for your efforts,
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend John O. Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre