Education mission remains a priority - Catholic Courier
Finger Lakes-area Catholic-school students gather at St. Stephen Church in Geneva in 2011 for a Mass with Bishop Emeritus Matthew H.Clark. Finger Lakes-area Catholic-school students gather at St. Stephen Church in Geneva in 2011 for a Mass with Bishop Emeritus Matthew H.Clark.

Education mission remains a priority

Catholic education has been a priority for local Catholics since the earliest days of the Diocese of Rochester. Catholic schools in the diocese still adhere to that mission of offering high-quality education rooted in the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

A number of diverse strategies are being used to carry out this mission today. Students regularly participate in school Masses and daily prayer, and religion classes are a core element of the schools’ curriculum.

Faith frequently is integrated into academic subjects as well. Preschool teachers’ lessons about the weather and rainbows, for example, may lead to discussions about the story of Noah’s ark and God’s reminder of his promise to Noah.

Students also learn that religion is not merely a subject to be learned; they are expected to live their faith both inside and outside of the classroom. Older students serve younger students by partnering with them on such activities as reading sessions, prayer and craft activities, and students of all ages frequently participate in service projects to benefit the communities outside the school walls.

Students at St. Lawrence School in Greece work on a writing project in 2009.

Catholic schools in the diocese remain committed to academic excellence as well. In November 2016 a team of representatives from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools recommended that the diocese’s Catholic elementary and middle schools be accredited by the national organization. An independent nonprofit, the Middle States Association evaluates schools to ensure they are providing high-quality education, continuously improving and helping students succeed.

The Diocese of Rochester was the third diocese in the United States to complete the Middle States process as a system of schools, ensuring all diocesan schools are of the highest quality. Members of the Middle States visiting team described the system as a faith community whose members loved each other, acted with justice and walked humbly with God, truly embodying the mission of diocesan Catholic schools.

Tags: Catholic Schools
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