So Much Good in Catholic Education


Earlier this week, I attended the National Catholic Educational Association's annual Seton Awards dinner. The dinner recognizes significant contributions to Catholic education in the United States, both through long and distinguished service and pace-setting philanthropy. (You can learn more about the Seton Award winners HERE.) It is an inspiring evening that affirms all the good that is taking place in Catholic education around the country and how those efforts are being supported. It reminded me of all the selfless, humble, and generous giving of time, talent and treasure that I am witness to at Bishop O'Connell from faculty and staff, parents and alums. We are very blessed as we work to secure the next 60 years of our school's history.

The end of the week finds me with other Heads of School and Principals from across the Diocese on a short retreat in Priestfield, W.V. being led by Father Thomas Ferguson. Father has framed his talks to us under the theme of "Living as Missionary Disciples" and he spent some time on the distinction between being a Disciple of Christ (a follower) and an Apostle (one who is sent forth).

At the school, we seek to support parents and guardians as the primary educators of their children by encouraging the growth of students as disciples of Christ -- young men and women who develop a strong personal relationship with Christ that is sustained by prayer and the sacraments. This is done with the hope that they will become Apostles who through wisdom, courage and right judgment can be witnesses and leaders in their communities. Certainly the retreat was a reminder to all of us in attendance of our need for the same things we hope to strengthen in students and we have all been grateful for some time together to work on that.

Back at Bishop O'Connell today, we are concluding our two week hearty soup drive to help stock the shelves at our diocesan Catholic Charities food pantries. This DJO tradition brings the entire student body together in the morning for a Living Rosary to pray for those who will ultimately benefit from the student's efforts. We are grateful for our generous community of parents and friends who help make this drive successful each year.

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