Dr. Kathleen O'Hara, retired Superintendent of Schools

Dear Friends of Catholic Schools,

If you are like me, you grew up hearing a variety of quotations, each illustrating a particular life lesson. My mother was (still is, actually) particularly adept at matching just the right old adage and/or scripture verse to a given situation. I must admit that it was comforting to know that my situation was not new and that others throughout history had experienced similar joys and trials. If they had not, there would be no concise expression or verse neatly summarizing the lesson to be learned!

As I reflect on the outstanding work of the Catholic Education Foundation (cef), one such scripture verse comes to mind. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48). Often fundraisers will quote Luke 12:48 to donors to remind them of our need to give, and of course, that is important. However, this verse speaks to more than the obvious. If you were to visit one of our cef schools, you would encounter students being taught this very same thing.

There is an abundance of research about the success of Catholic school graduates, particularly those who attend schools in lower income areas. What the research usually fails to explain is why these results occur. I believe our success is directly related to Luke 12:48. In Catholic schools, students are taught and treated like the children of God they are. They are taught that God has given each of them special gifts and talents and that they are called to use these to serve him – just like Jesus teaches in the Parable of the Talents. In other words, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Catholic school students succeed because anything less would be failing to follow Jesus, and, seriously, who would try to fail at that?!

However, even the greatest efforts and successes of the students and staff in cef schools would be in jeopardy if it were not for the extraordinary generosity of cef and donors like you. Thanks to you, students in cef schools have the opportunity to overcome economic adversity and develop their talents to the fullest. They have the opportunity to succeed in this world and also to join Jesus, our Lord, in the next. What an awesome gift! Thank you!

¡Vaya con Dios!

Kathleen A. O’Hara, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Every Child Deserves a Quality Education

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