“At least once a year, report cards for pupils in grades five through eight are given in personal interviews, conducted by the pastor, the parochial vicar, the principal, and the dean of students. The main idea is to help the kids understand that we care about a lot more than their academic accomplishments. We ask them about their spiritual life. We ask if they are praying each day at home. We ask if they are attending church on the weekend.
Sometimes I learn more than I was expecting. One time I was interviewing a sixth- grader and I asked him about Mass on Sunday. I heard him say, “No, Father. I do not go to Mass. I am sick.” I told him I hoped he would soon be better and offered to pray over him. He laughed. “No, Father,” he said. “I am not sick, like ill. I am Sikh. That is my religion.” I knew we had a few Muslims and a few Jewish kids, but nobody had told me we had a Sikh! I gave him a blessing and moved on to the next kid. That may not have been what I expected to learn, but I certainly learned more about our kids that day!
These interviews give us a “snapshot” of the children’s participation in weekly services. They also remind the children that this is important to us.”
– Reverend Monsignor Thomas F. Maloney, Diocese of Buffalo, 2013 Distinguished Pastor
Monsignor’s reflection reminds us that our Catholic school students come to us from all walks of life – we celebrate this in our parishes each week and especially during Catholic Schools Week through prayer and thanksgiving.
Monsignor Maloney’s full reflection and more from other distinguished pastors can be found in Priestly Leadership in Catholic Schools, now available in the NCEA store.
The Most Reverend George V. Murry , SJ, Ph.D. , Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown and Chair of the NCEA Board of Directors, offers a prayer for National Catholic Schools Week. Share this video with your parishes, classrooms and community as we celebrate January 31 – February 6, 2016!
Beginning Catholic School Week 2016, NCEA would like to feature a deserving Catholic School each month on our Featured Video section on Facebook, as well as publish an article in NCEA Talk. This video will be displayed throughout the month for all members and fans of NCEA to view as a way to showcase your school, Catholic education and Catholic identity.
Video should be no longer than 3 minutes and contain your school’s name, state and why you think your school should be featured. What is going on in your school that makes it a great place to learn? Showcase your school’s pride and Catholic identity. Share your story with us and the rest of our community!
Please include the original file of the video when submitted (not a YouTube link).
Include a brief paragraph (300 words or less) including or expanding upon any of the aspects mentioned above. You may include events, parent, teacher or student testimonials, awards or distinctions the school has earned and anything else that differentiates your school from others. Also provide a picture to be placed on NCEA Talk. Preferable Dimensions: 692×514 pixels. If you do not have access to alter images, please provide the best quality picture you can.
All students in the video must have parental consent. You can ask their teacher and/or verify in the school main office to ensure that the family has allowed both the school and NCEA to use the video. If you need a video release form, please let us know.
Submissions are subject to review by NCEA staff.
Please send submissions by Monday, January 25, 2016 to Ryan Lombardozzi, Social Media Coordinator at NCEA via RLombardozzi@ncea.org.