“Be a champion of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of New Orleans” is what the third annual Champion of Catholic Education collection at all local churches Jan. 28-29 is asking everyone to be.
This campaign is dedicated to help more families afford Catholic education for their children, said Dr. Jan Lancaster, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. These families wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to give their children a Catholic education, she said.
“It’s about being the face of faith to the people we serve,” Lancaster said. “We want education to be accessible to all families who want a Catholic education – whether people can’t afford it; whether special needs, etc. We should try our best to make it a reality for that family.”
In a letter sent recently to pastors throughout the archdiocese, Lancaster highlighted the benefits of a Catholic education. It goes beyond student achievement in the classroom. She said a Catholic education reaps long-term benefits for the broader community in these ways:
► Catholic school graduates score consistently higher than the state average on the ACT;
► 99 percent of Catholic students graduate from high school;
► Catholic school students are more likely to receive the sacrament of confirmation;
► Catholic school graduates are more likely to continue practicing the faith;
► Catholic school students are taught to know, love and serve the Lord.
“The benefit of Catholic education is to prepare people for a life of service in the name of faith,” Lancaster said. “We add another dimension with our education. The more people we have in Catholic education, the more chances we have of spreading our faith.”
While all Catholic schools offer some type of financial assistance, those resources do not meet the need of all students who request aid, she said. The Champion of Catholic Education fund helps fill the gap to offer Catholic education to all who want it.
“Consider supporting an education steeped in virtues and values,” Lancaster said. “Your donation will change a life. It’s a chance to change the world, one child at a time. It is a chance to make God’s world a better place.”
Donations may be made online at http://nolacatholic.org/donate, select Catholic Schools tuition assistance fund or can be mailed to: Office of Catholic Schools, 7887 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans, LA 70125 or call 866-7916.