It is hard to believe that nine months have passed since I stood on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to kick-off the 234th academic year for Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
That day, I shared some thoughts from Archbishop Chaput with all those assembled. “The goal of all Catholic education is to form young people in a strong Catholic faith, a faith rooted in the truth about God and humanity, a faith that can guide them to a fruitful life in this world, and home to the joy of eternal life with their Creator.” Fulfilling that goal is our daily promise to the young people who attend our schools, and who represent our hopes and dreams for the future.
Our schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have the distinction of being America’s first Catholic schools, originally founded by the fourth bishop of Philadelphia, Saint John Neumann. Today, 119 parish, regional and Independence Mission elementary schools, 17 Archdiocesan high schools, and four Archdiocesan Schools of Special Education do much more than provide a quality education — they work integrally as part of a collective mission to equip saints for life in this world and the next.
Our schools seek to foster the holistic formation of young men and women — spiritually, academically, socially, and athletically — all centered on the model of Christ.
Throughout the five-county region, countless administrators, staff members, and organizations collaborate with AOPS to ensure that Catholic education continues to be viable, sustainable, and competitive far into the future. These individuals have dedicated their lives to the mission of Catholic education and to the tens of thousands of children they serve each day.
Our school families make great sacrifices to invest in a Catholic education. In turn, their sons and daughters are provided not only with the knowledge and technical skills needed to succeed, but also the wisdom and moral character to become future leaders modeled on the person of Jesus Christ.
As a product of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I can speak firsthand to the virtues taught in our schools. They have assisted me in my vocation as a priest and bishop. It is a privilege to work closely each day with all those working to make Catholic education accessible, affordable, and sustainable so that our children and young people may benefit from this gift for many generations.
May God Bless You.