Project Description

May 28, 2017

This Wednesday, we will celebrate the graduation of our 8th graders from Christ the King School.  This is a big event not only for the students and their families, but for the entire parish.  After all, the school is a ministry of the parish.  Through your prayers, active involvement and financial support, every single parishioner plays a vital role in our school’s success.  In turn, having a vibrant school plays no small part in keeping our whole parish vibrant, as well.

Our school has been recognized by the State of Indiana with a four-star rating this year, one of only 41 schools (public and private) in the state to achieve this designation.  We are very proud of our students’ academic and extracurricular accomplishments, but the mission of our school goes much deeper than test scores.  Our school exists to form disciples in the image of Jesus Christ, young adults who will know their faith, who desire a deep and abiding relationship with Christ, and who are eager to go out into the world and share the Good News.

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to travel with 44 of our 8th graders (along with 15 other adult chaperones) to Indianapolis for a three-day Service Immersion.  This was something new we tried out this year as a sort of capstone experience for their Christ the King education.  We spent the year looking at Catholic Social Teaching from a variety of perspectives:  we looked at the preferential option for the poor in Religion class; we looked at issues facing veterans in Social Studies; we looked at family budgeting for the working poor in Math, etc.  Then we spent three days putting this learning into action by serving at three different sites – a food bank, a shelter for homeless veterans, and an inner-city Catholic school serving at-risk youth.  Our Youth Minister Abigail then led periods of theological reflection and prayer to help the students keep this service rooted in Christ.  (The ten students who stayed behind also did some great work, researching local service opportunities and creating a project plan for expanding the local service done by CTK students of all grades.  Their report will give valuable assistance to our School Board as we implement our strategic plan over the next five years.)

In this experience, I got to see what a young person looks like after (as much as) 9 years of a Christ the King education.  It was very encouraging.  Not only did our students work hard and bring smiles to a lot of people’s faces, but they also started to make connections between service and their faith.  I truly believe that they are learning to see the face of Jesus in the face of their brothers and sisters in need, and that they are learning to understand that loving these brothers and sisters is a concrete way of expressing their love for Christ.

That’s what Catholic education is all about, forming young people who have the “competence to see and the courage to act”, as our Holy Cross Constitutions say.  We all know how challenging this is to do, given the disturbing messages with which our young people are bombarded in our culture.  But it gives me great hope to see the good things that happen in our school every day.  My thanks go out to our students, teachers, staff, parents and School Board for a great year.  And I ask all of us to continually keep our students in your prayers.  We all have a lot invested in this ministry because they truly are the future of our Church.