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- Isaiah 49:15
Dear Friends of Catholic Education,
The bumper sticker on the car in the grocery store parking lot said, “Don’t let the car fool you, my real treasure is in heaven.”
The car? An Infiniti Q45. I do not know exactly what message the owner intended to convey, but the words reminded me of a conversation we recently had in our office.
Today, so much of education is focused on preparing students to be successful in the world. While this certainly is important, and Catholic educators are concerned about this goal, as well, we must not lose sight of another purpose and goal for our ministry. We must be about forming young people so that they develop their talents not for serving themselves, but for serving others and God. Ultimately, we in Catholic schools should be about helping kids get to heaven (a sentiment beautifully expressed by one of our principals at our first Faith Leadership Institute). If they graduate from Harvard and earn a six-figure income (and drive an Infiniti Q45!) along the way, great, but the goal is heaven.
When Jim’s and my five children were in high school, we began talking to them in earnest about developing their talents. We never mentioned that dreaded sentence, “It looks good on a college application.” Rather, we talked about the parable of the talents. It seemed to us that if our kids focused on developing their talents to honor and serve God and others, the college acceptance letters (and later job offers, etc.) would take care of themselves.
So that is our challenge as Catholic educators ~ to nurture the growth of the talents of the children in our care for the dual purpose of serving God and others on this earth and for joining Him in heaven. How can we accomplish such an awesome task? By remembering to rely on God and to take care of our own spiritual lives so that we see each student as a child of God and each student feels the touch of Jesus through our hands.
Pray for us.
¡Vaya con Dios!
Kathleen (Kathy) A. O’Hara, Ph.D.