The following blog was contributed by Kathy Sells, 8th grade homeroom teacher at Holy Family Catholic School in the diocese of Boise.
I chose Catholic education as a vocation because I knew I would not have to be in it alone. I knew I would be working with parents, the primary educators, students, coworkers, administrators and priests; not in typical working relationships, but rather as a covenant relationship; a way of life that pervades every minute, of every hour, of every day. I would be working with people who see Catholicism as a lifestyle, not a moment in time.
I chose Catholic education as my vocation because I believe it to be my best response to God’s invitation to a deeper intimacy with Him. He must increase while I decrease. Middle school students can see through a phony a mile away. If my faith is not rooted in intimacy with God, I am simply a noisy gong, whether I am teaching religion or math. My students help me to deepen my intimacy with the first teacher, Jesus.
I chose Catholic education as my vocation because I believe it is a beautiful expression of the promises that were made in Baptism through my anointing as priest, prophet and king. As priests, teachers, students and parents we are called to proclaim the word of God in our words, thoughts and actions. As prophet, teachers, students, and parents are called to stand up in times of injustice to help right the wrongs. And as king, teachers, students and parents are called to servant leadership. We all have a part to play, there is no abdication of our roles.
I chose Catholic education as my vocation because I believe what it says in Ecclesiastes, “Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). If one part of the team: parent, student or school is unable to do their part or chooses to not participate, we are less than successful. Being a math teacher, the numbers speak for themselves. If parents, students and the school all participate that is 100%. I am not saying it is perfect, but we all stand a better chance at success when we work together. If one party does not buy into the mission of Catholic education, we have a success rate of 66 ⅔ percent. That is a significant hit.
I chose Catholic education as my vocation because I believe the relationship between school, parent and student is a beautiful expression of the doctrine of the Trinity: the Lover, the Loved, and the Love between them. Parents are the primary educators of their children and Catholic schools walk with parents to encourage the students to be who God created them to be. These relationships formed with families are ones of humility, sacrifice and love.
So, I chose Catholic education as my vocation because I know I cannot make it to heaven on my own, and Catholic education involves all parties being called by the One to a common goal, eternal life.
“To be saints is not a privilege for the few, but a vocation for everyone.” ~ Pope Francis