Monday, January 26, 2015

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week


Every January, Catholic schools across the nation celebrate the success of Catholic education. The theme for Catholic Schools Week this year is: "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service."

Total enrollment in Catholic schools for 2014-2015 in the United States is 1,974,578. In fact, Catholic schools enroll nearly half of all students in private schools. Why do so many families entrust the education of their children to Catholic schools? The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) identifies three factors:

Ø  Children are taught Faith – not just the basics of Christianity, but how to have a relationship with God
Ø  Academics, which in Catholic schools are held to very high standards, help each child reach his or her potential
Ø  Service, the giving of one’s time and effort to help others, is taught both as an expression of faith and good citizenship

Catholic schools also prepare their students to be future leaders, not only in our faith, but also in our country.  Here are a dozen reasons to promote our Catholic schools:

We offer an education that combines Catholic faith and teaching with academic excellence.
We partner with parents in the faith formation of their children.
We set high standards for student achievement and help them succeed.
We provide a balanced academic curriculum that integrates faith, culture, and life.
We use technology effectively to enhance education.
We instill in students the value of service to others.
We teach children respect of self and others.
We emphasize moral development and self-discipline.
We prepare students to be productive citizens and future leaders.
We have a 99% high school graduation rate, and 85% of our graduates go on to college.
We cultivate a faculty and staff of people who are dedicated, caring, and effective.
We provide a safe and welcoming environment.

To celebrate Catholic Schools Week this year, St. Michael’s School has planned a variety of activities to recognize and thank students, parents, and staff for their contributions and commitment to Catholic education. We also recognize and thank St. Michael’s Parish for its continued support over the past 50 years. We are forging the way toward another 50 years of excellence!

Kathleen Mock


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Light In The Darkness

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

The reality of that statement strikes a chord in my heart each time I read it. Who or what are we (am I) if we (I) don’t stand up and speak out about those things that matter? We are not called to be people of the shadows, but people of the light. Light pierces darkness with power and precision, overwhelming it with energy, strength, and presence. We are called to be the light to the world, a lamp on a stand, a city on a hill that all can see (Mark 4:21-25). We are called to be a beacon of hope for the world to see, filled with faith, hope, and love for God and neighbor. What that looks like for each person may be different, but what is required of each if firstly one virtue and that is courage (a.k.a. fortitude).


Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions.” Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1808 Fortitude is a human virtue that is developed by perfection of the intellect and habitual choices made toward proper practices. One man in the 20th century who publically practiced this virtue was named Martin Luther King Jr. (whose quote is above). He understood the power of courage (fortitude) and how it was a choice a man (or woman) makes in his (or her) heart for the love of God, his neighbor and out of proper self-love. The act of courage helps us to become our true selves and who God created us to be, magnanimous, strong, powerful, loving, humble, peaceful, kind, and with servants hearts.


Martin Luther King though he was a man of strength and power, like Christ, he was also a man of peace. We are called to take part in his example (also the example of Christ) and stand up for what is true, good, and beautiful in a world that desires to distort or destroy it. For this is how we truly live our lives and not be conquered by fear and despair. Fear and despair can be powerful agents in the world and have a lot of sway on our hearts if we let them, but one key that has helped me to take courage is to keep my eyes on Christ and to follow his example of Love. He is the source of all goodness, truth, and beauty in the world, and the infinite source of Love from which we draw all our strength.


Taking up courage may mean that we are ultimately taking up our cross. It may even mean that we are yoking ourselves to it, even unto death. But our hope is in Christ Jesus as we remember who we are also yoked to, and that is Jesus himself. “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” says the Lord (Matthew 11:30). Our yokes are “easy” in that it fits us in a way that is personalized, and my burden is light, not because it is of small importance or little stature, but because of who is truly carrying the weight – Christ.  Those trials and tribulations we suffer for our courage are bonded to the sufferings and sacrifice of Christ which make them redemptive. Those sufferings we endure are the down payment of love for the joy and peace of those around us and those who will come after us.


We should “rejoice in our sufferings” as Saint Paul says both for our own sakes and for sakes of those we love in Christ (Romans 5:3-5, Colossians 1:24). Our suffering is truly what will bring about the salvation of the world that all might rejoice and be glad. Christ came not that we might be free of suffering, but so our suffering would have purpose.

Martin Luther King Jr. is an excellent example of Christ’s words. The suffering he endured for the injustice of those being wrongly persecuted cost him social dislike, rejection, discomfort, physical hardship, and ultimately his life.  But through his courageous actions and sufferings united to Christ came the redemption of a people who were literally once slaves and now are free.


Slavery still exists in a variety of forms today, whether it is addiction to lust, pleasure, pride, comfort, or selfishness. However, we are called to fight not just slavery but other ailments in the world like prostitution, sex trafficking, poverty, pornography, abortion, the devaluation of the sanctity of marriage, human dignity (euthanasia), or maybe things a little less visible like loneliness, unworthiness, despair, feeling unloved (particularly in the home), or any of the other struggles of daily life. We are called to be lights in the darkness, lamps to others’ feet, always to bring ourselves and others to a greater understanding and participation in truth and love – doing so with gentleness, reverence, and strength (1 Peter 3:15). This may cost us our comfort, time, talent, or treasure, but it is ultimately the only path worth walking. I’ll end with another quote from a man of courage in times not much different than our own.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In Christ,


Below is an upcoming event sponsored by Life Choices and features the niece of Martin Luther King Jr.

Tickets On Sale 
Life Choices Annual Event 

Featured Speaker: Dr. Alveda King
Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Exclusive featured Screening of the new pro-life short film Sing a Little Louder

Don't miss this rare privilege to hear 
such a historic civil rights warrior.

March 26, 2015 @ 7 pm
St. Michael's Holy Family Center Poway, CA