Another school year is upon us and our Catholic Schools will once again open its doors to children of all faiths. Though open to all faiths, our Catholic identity and Christian values are present, and clearly evident as the primary focus of each school along with an exemplary academic program. Families who choose Catholic education for their children understand that a spiritual learning environment helps to strengthen the Christian values they teach within their own homes. Having children who daily interact with other children practicing those Christian values and seeing them modeled by the adults around them helps strengthen our future families and communities.
Catholic education began in Buffalo in 1829 when Father Nicholas Mertz gathered children together for reading, writing and spelling in a small rented house. The oldest continuously operating school in the diocese is St. Peter & Paul School in Williamsville. This school was begun by Father John Neumann in 1836.
Throughout the generations of students our schools have evolved to stay educationally current and relevant. The nationally recognized STREAM Initiative of science, technology, religion, engineering, the arts and mathematics has helped students to see how curriculum can be integrated through hands-on real world problem solving using a moral lens that respects life and our environment.
Our schools continue to provide all the technology a parent would expect to see in modern schools. Computer labs, individual student laptops/iPads, instructional touch whiteboards, interactive TV systems and Wi-Fi are commonplace in our classrooms. School safety measures have also been enhanced through technology.
We are especially grateful to our schools' administrators, teachers and staff that work with our children each day, providing a learning environment of encouragement and loving support. We are also so appreciative of our school families who make the commitment to send their children to our Catholic schools and for all they do personally to help each school. There is something very special about the sense of community in each of our schools.
I wish to thank all of the parishioners who may not have children in a Catholic school or even a school within their parish. Your support through donations and participation in school fundraisers show your commitment to the Christian value of giving to others selflessly.
Thank you, also to so many donors (many of who donate anonymously) that provide student scholarships for needy students or families that have multiple students in school. You are in my daily prayers of thanks.
Finally, I would like to recognize our pastors who have schools and to those who don't, but financially support students who attend the schools. Your commitment and sacrifice of time and resources is so deeply valued and appreciated.
Looking forward to another fantastic school year!