Years ago, my brother-in-law introduced me to the mission of the Catholic Education Foundation at a CEF Trivia Night. At the time, I had only been part of the Catholic Church for a few years. I did not grow up Catholic, nor did I attend Catholic schools. But when I heard about the graduation rates and college enrollment numbers for students at the CEF-supported high school, I was hooked. Those numbers were much higher than the other schools in the same zip codes.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 6:34-35
I was recently moved by the simplicity of this command and especially in the context of the divided world we live in. Everywhere we turn, someone seems to be arguing for arguments sake alone. I suppose that as we examine history, we’d see that this has more often been the case than just recently.
This month, Catholic school students across the country are donning their uniforms and starting a new school year. But at one school the doors are closed: St. Leo Catholic School in San Antonio, TX. I imagine that name doesn’t mean much to you, but it means a great deal to me. It is, was, my Catholic school. St. Leo closed this summer after serving children on the Southside of San Antonio for 100 years. It was just like my current school, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School on the Boulevard. When people back home ask me about where I work I tell them, “at St.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
“When does school start?” “When do I get to see my classroom?” “When do I get to meet my new teacher?”
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.