Breaking the cycle of poverty while saving souls: this is the goal of the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF). What an awe-inspiring mission for an organization. If someone told me that I could support an organization that would accomplish this goal for even one child, I wouldn’t know how to say yes fast enough. Fortunately for me, I was in fact given the opportunity, and I very quickly learned just how many lives this amazing organization routinely impacts and how far-reaching and profound are its effects.
The CEF Office is blessed to receive daily reminders of why our mission matters, from heartfelt thank you cards to spending time with the energetic students at CEF-sponsored Catholic schools. This week, I had a humbling and inspiring experience as a mother and CEF employee. My 5 ½ year old “baby” boy went to his kindergarten screening at our local parish school. The next morning, my little guy joyfully proclaimed, “I can’t wait to go to kindergarten!”
When I think about the Catholic Education Foundation, I smile. I smile because I cannot think about CEF without seeing the faces of students in our Catholic schools, and those faces always have the biggest ear-to-ear smiles and grins. In fact, the smiles of our students almost distract from their eyes. Our students’ eyes sparkle…well, maybe they do not sparkle during math tests (!)…but they definitely sparkle when they talk about their schools.
For many of us, Catholic Schools Week is a time to celebrate Catholic education opportunities and be thankful for the students, families, parishioners, community members, and teachers that make it all work. For me, it serves as a time to reflect on the blessing that Catholic education has been for me.
Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I am fortunate enough to live by this mantra. This is my 6th year teaching in a Catholic school and my 13th year at John Paul II/Queen of the Holy Rosary, as I attended grade school there from K-8 and now teach there.
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