Tim Rosa is a Partner at Titan Built LLC. He serves on the CEF Board of Directors.
Celebration and reflection are two natural reactions to reaching certain milestones in life. Whether it’s a birthday, receiving a sacrament for the first time, or experiencing a significant career accomplishment, achieving a major milestone is cause to rejoice and take stock of where you have been and what’s next on the horizon.
Last week, the Catholic Education Foundation Board was welcomed to St. Paul Catholic School in Olathe to tour the facility and meet with students and staff. As you may know, St. Paul recently celebrated its move to a new location - absolutely a major milestone in the life of a parish!
The building is beautiful and new. Friendly faces from students greeted us as we entered. Our tour guides walked us through the facility sharing stories of the improvements and their impact. From the larger kitchen to the elevator to the storm shelter, several modern features are now part of St. Paul’s physical environment. But it didn’t take long on our tour to catch the spirit of this school community and how it outshines any new building component.
One of our first stops was the art room where we admired the crucifixes students created to adorn each classroom throughout the school. We visited the fantastic Catechesis of the Good Shepard program. We heard about the many uses for the building’s multipurpose areas such as Mass, cafeteria space, and meetings. Like all of the CEF schools we have toured, we were quickly amazed by the special gift of a Catholic school and the wonderful, faith-filled people who give of themselves to share Jesus with our children.
At the end of the tour, Father Michael Hermes and Principal Ann Connor shared with us the history of St. Paul Parish and School. They spoke about where they have been, and they shared about opportunities for growth. They talked about the increasing size of the pre-K program as well as the continued efforts to have an enrollment that matches the diversity of the parish. It is clear there is hope for a bright future and a focus on the fact that much work still remains.
I left St. Paul feeling a great sense of momentum and energy in the school. While the new facility is great, this momentum and energy came not from the building but from the students and staff inside. St. Paul has some very special people helping to provide a Catholic education to their community. It was invigorating to visit St. Paul and experience the celebration of their new facility and hear the reflections about where they have been and where they are going.
To be able to provide a Catholic education to others is certainly something to celebrate, but there is much work to do! Over 395 students are currently on the Catholic Education Foundation’s waiting list for financial assistance. They need your help. There are so many great things happening at our Catholic schools, just like at St. Paul. Join us now in helping to provide a Catholic education for a child in our community and help change a life. What a major milestone that would be for you to celebrate and reflect upon!