Each day during Catholic Schools Week, we will post a reflection on the focus of the day centered around this year’s theme: "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service". The following reflection is from John Schoenig:
Perhaps the most sacred promise we make as a republic is the one that every generation is invited to renew for the next: that we will do whatever it takes to ensure that every child, regardless of color, creed, or socioeconomic status, has equal access to an outstanding education. This promise is in many ways as confounding as it is inspiring – and it serves as the bedrock of our foundational aspiration to form a more perfect Union.
As we prepare to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we would be well served to reflect on just how far we have come (and how much farther we have yet to go) making good on the promise of equal education opportunity. For those of us in the Catholic school community, I truly believe we now stand at a historic moment, one in which we are being called to renew our zeal for Catholic education, and to celebrate the unique role that Catholic schools continue to play as agents of human formation and social transformation. In so doing, I am convinced we will help author an exciting new chapter in American education.
Indeed, our schools matter a great deal to this country, regardless of one’s position towards general questions of faith. In a time of deep skepticism about the quality of K-12 education broadly, it is clear that Catholic schools are sacred places serving an essential civic purpose. As missionary disciples invited to help the world hear and respond to the joy of the Gospel, we should take every opportunity to make clear just how instrumental our schools are in putting generations of children firmly on the path to college and heaven.
[T]he results of our pastoral work do not depend on a wealth of resources, but on the creativity of love. To be sure, perseverance, effort, hard work, planning and organization all have their place, but first and foremost we need to realize that the Church’s power does not reside in herself; it is hidden in the deep waters of God, into which she is called to cast her nets.
- Pope Francis
John Schoenig, J.D., M.Ed. is the Director of Teacher Formation and Education Policy for ACE. He received his bachelor's in the Program of Liberal Studies from the University of Notre Dame before enrolling as a member of the ACE Teaching Fellows program, in which he taught at Holy Rosary School in Shreveport, Louisiana. Schoenig then went on to join the ACE team and later served on the Alliance for School Choice before attending Notre Dame Law School and graduating with honors.