Want academic excellence? Try a Catholic school

jan_lancaster    This week, we celebrate and recognize the gift of Catholic education. With the ministry of the Ursuline sisters in 1727, almost 300 years ago, Catholic education began in the city of New Orleans.
    What is the significance of Catholic education? How has Catholic education made a difference in our archdiocese?
    We are a family of schools that strive to be authentically Catholic in a culture of academic excellence with accessibility to families who want a Catholic education. Many clergy and educators work passionately in the ministry of Catholic education to make that vision a reality for the children they teach. Parents work and sacrifice to give their children the gift of Catholic education. I thank and applaud these heroes for instilling their faith in children.
    As many of us reflect on our years in Catholic education, we can see how learning to live our faith shaped our entire person and made us who we are today.
    In reflecting upon my years in Catholic education in our archdiocese, first at St. Angela Merici and then at Ursuline Academy, making the world a better place through the teachings of Jesus Christ was instilled in me at an early age.
    With the idea of serviam, Latin for “I will serve,” I chose the ministry of Catholic education. In discussions with family, friends and colleagues, I have consistently heard the same reflection: Catholic education brings people closer to God through instilling the teachings of Jesus Christ.
    In celebrating Catholic Schools Week, I honor those  of you associated with Catholic education. I honor the many of you who live your faith and give of yourself to serve others because of the values instilled in you through Catholic education. I honor the many people who sacrifice to make Catholic education a reality for others.
    What a gift Catholic education is to all of us!
    Dr. Jan Daniel Lancaster is superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. She can be reached at jlancaster@archdiocese-no.org.

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