The nation's Catholic Schools recently marked Catholic Schools Week, and during the recent celebration, it seems we heard (as usual) a lot about Catholic education in the abstract. Commentators spoke of Catholic education in terms of large concepts -- character formation, moral formation, and of course faith formation. Each of those characteristics are, of course, worth praising, but in championing the benefits of Catholic education, I didn't hear much about the subject of this education: our students.
Today's students are remarkable. They keep schedules that leave my colleagues and me wondering how they do it. They play two or three sports, participate in multiple clubs and activities, lead retreats, and somehow complete their homework. There is, of course, a separate discussion to be had about how healthy this (over)involvement is (especially when they aren't sleeping enough); but putting that issue aside, I want to gratefully acknowledge the devotion that so many students give to their commitments. Without their hard work, without their sacrifices and rushing and late nights, faculty cannot do what we do. We cannot field teams, guide student councils, host rallies, and provide all the activities and sports that empower a successful school community.
So I want to offer a belated "thank you" to our students, to the dedication they offer to ensure that Catholic education maintains its reputation of excellence.