Sunday, January 26, 2014

We Are Many Parts

Today is the day of the year that always gives me slight heart palpitations.  Being the parent of public school children, there is always a bit of a sting that comes to me as we sit in our pew and listen to the advertising of the start of Catholic Schools Week.

I am the product of 12 years of a Catholic education.  In fact, my uncle, a Franciscan priest, referred to me in the homily of our wedding day mass, as being "marinated in the juices of Catholicism."  It was such a great line and I was proud of that description.  I enjoyed my years at school and I am grateful that I had such a loving, extended family there.

The experience my children have had so far in the public school has been a positive one, too.  In fact, I have learned the light of Christ is not limited within the walls of a parochial school.  The teachers and staff provide a safe, loving environment in the schools my children attend.  Even though talk of faith and religion are not spoken outwardly there, the subtle examples are evident and enrich what we teach them at home.

While sitting there in mass today, my palpitations eased because I believe that Christ had my back once again.  Our celebrant was the priest who went to public school; the readings spoke of being fishers of men and going forth to preach the gospel; and the hymns (The Summons and We Are Called)  called us to follow Christ and bring his love to all people. It was then that I realized something else.

School is not only a place where our children can learn the good news, it is a place where they can be the good news.  My hope is that our presence at school, whether we are students or parents, is not solely to receive, but to give.  In other words,  "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 5:16.

That can be done everywhere.

My point is this: whether we attend Catholic or public school, private school or home school, each and every one of us is called to be the Light of Christ.  There is a need for all of us because we are many parts that make up one body....The Body of Christ.


  1. Oh Kathleen,

    This was such a beautiful post and I can tell it was written from the heart! As I stood talking with our 7th/8th grade homeroom teacher at our Catholic school's Open House, we talked about how during Mass, her 2 children leaned over to her during Father's homily and whispered, "Mom, we should be going to Catholic school too."

    Janelle (the teacher) said in many ways she feels that they should be going to Catholic school…but for so many reasons (including not wanting to be their homeroom teacher for 4 years!) they aren't.

    But what she's witnessed many times over is how her own 2 children have brought the light of Christ to others. Several classmates have come over to play or for a meal and are, for the first time, introduced to God…Christ…saying Grace! One kiddo even went home and asked if they could start going to church!

    Yes, we are all called to be the Body of Christ and in its many forms! Do you by chance read, Elizabeth Foss' blog? (In the Heart of My Home) I love her blog and today she talks about Christian Unity and Pope Francis' call for us to lift each other up and work towards uniting one Body!

    We are many parts…public schoolers…home schoolers…Catholic schoolers…working mamas…SAHM…we need to support each other on this life journey toward Heaven and realize we are all on the same team!!!


  2. Yes, indeed. Beautiful post, Kathleen.

  3. Very well said my friend! VERY WELL SAID!!

  4. Hi Kathleen! I completely agree. And I share the thought that a Catholic school is not the only place God is. I love Valerie's comment from Pope Francis. Yes, Catholic school is great (I went to them all the way through college), but it's not possible/preferable for everyone for many different reasons.

    I am so glad that Catholic Schools week didn't make you uncomfortable this time. You know, I never really thought about it before in the light of someone in your shoes. I think I will be much more aware of that now. Thank you for educating me, in this week of education.
    I loved your always,

  5. Such a wonderful post. I too went to Catholic schools along with my husband. Our children are in public schools now and I am very happy there. As I have said before Isabella starts high school next year and would like to go to the same high school I went to is a wonderful school but I am not 100% on board. We have been praying about our decision for many weeks now and I still do not have a clear answer.