My Friends in Christ,
Catholic schools, in partnership with parents, are one of the most important and most effective tools we have in the Church for passing on the faith and forming our youth. I rely on the faculty and staff in Catholic schools to assist me in my teaching ministry in the Archdiocese, and while there always is room for improvement in what we do, I am pleased with what I see happening in the Catholic schools in northeast Kansas. Our schools’ efforts to assist parents to pass on the beauty and truth of our Catholic faith to their children are making a huge difference in the formation of the next generation of disciples of Jesus Christ.
One of our greatest challenges, though, is keeping Catholic schools accessible to all Catholic families. Several years ago, the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools determined that there were approximately $4 million dollars worth of requests annually for tuition assistance in the Catholic schools in our Archdiocese!
The needs of families are great. Even though we strive to keep the cost of a Catholic education affordable, it is reasonable to assume that costs will increase, like many other items in society. Thus, the tuition assistance needs of families, likely also will increase.
I am very grateful for the work of the Catholic Education Foundation (cef). Without its help, Catholic schools would be out of reach for many families. Each year, the cef awards more than $1 million in scholarships to families who otherwise would be unable to afford the tuition of a Catholic school. While this is quite noteworthy, we still have great unmet needs. It is my hope and prayer that one day cef will have enough resources to support many more families in all schools.
To accomplish this goal, we need your help. In the time of the Great Depression in this country, faithful Catholics made heroic sacrifices to build beautiful churches that have become lasting places of worship for many generations. I am confident that our current generation can make similar heroic sacrifices to build the Kingdom of God here on earth – one child at a time. The future of our country and our Church depend upon your generosity.
Thank you for your support of our families. May Almighty God and the Risen Savior richly bless you and your family.
Sincerely yours in Jesus, the Lord of Life,
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann