Catholic Schools Week

(Fourth Sunday, Year C)

This Sunday we are winding up our celebration of Catholic Schools Week. Because Holy Family School is such an integral part of this parish, I am asking our principal, Dr. Robert Scripko, to say a few words at today's Mass.

Before Dr. Bob speaks, I would like to address the topic as pastor. I take my cue from our Scripture readings. To the prophet Jeremiah God said, "Before I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you." God has a plan for each person, At the first moment our existence, at our very conception, He confers an incalculable dignity upon us.

Our Catholic school is based on the dignity of each child--not just to earn a living or to get along in the world--but the real source of our worth, that we are called to an eternal relationship with God, in Jesus. A public school by necessity kind of brackets that, leaves it to the parents--but a Catholic school wants to support parents in that aspect of their child's development, the one that really counts in the long run.

We also get some clue about Catholic education from today's Gospel. When Jesus returned to his home town, the people of Nazareth did not consider Jesus anyone special. They asked, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" He didn't study in India--or even in an Essene monastery in Qumran. His education was right there in Nazareth. He learned carpentry from Joseph and went to the synagogue school where the local rabbi taught the boys to read the Hebrew Scriptures. He gained practical skills, but most important--the Bible, God's word.

That's what our students do at Holy Family. They learn practical things, like math and computers. But more important, our Catholic faith tradition and prayer.

This is a slow process and sometimes we have to play catch-up ball, even on fundamentals. I was talking to a high school teacher who noticed that many of her students had not learned the basics of respect, good manners and courtesy. For instance that a younger person would open the door for someone older or a man for a woman. Once one of the boys plowed through a door in front of her and then let it just swing back in her face. She called the boy and showed him how to hold the door for an older person or a lady. It was a novel concept for the young man but after some practice, he grasped it. That kind of basic education does take time and patience.

A Catholic school exists to support parents in the education, the right upbringing of their children. Holy Family School in no way wants to displace parents, but to help them in their primary responsibility. To explain more about that I am proud to present this Sunday a great school principal, our own Dr. Bob Scripko.

From Archives (Homilies for Fourth Sunday, Year C):

2016: New Beginning: Living God's Plan
2013: Spiritual Combat
2010: Three Levels of Love
2007: We Are Doing It For Someone
2004: Love is a Decision
2001: Standing Against the Culture
1998: Catholic Schools Week

Other Sunday Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

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Fr. Brad's Homilies

Fr. Jim's Homilies

Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")

Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)

Parish Picture Album


Parish Picture Album

St. Mary of the Valley Album

(January 2010)

My bulletin column (Confirmation Candidates, Commissions, 40 Days for Life - Jan 31, 2010)

Bulletin (March for Life: Do Pro-Lifers only care for children before they are born?)


Pictures from Peru

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

Bulletin (Catholic School, Tuition Rates, Matter of Choice)


"Dirty Secret" of Pro-Choice Movement

Myths about the search for knowledge

Tell it, Sheila (Wesley Clark attends Baptist prayer service)

Ad for life insurance company:

Media Bias?

Belated congratulations to Senate Democrats

Tracking the Moral Law

Audio Books I recommend: Theology for Beginners, Salt of the Earth and Making Senses Out of Scripture


Cultural Revolution: How?

“A society which does not privilege and protect the family is a society that it doomed. The result of gay marriage will not be gay marriage.”

College Students Help Close Abortion Clinic

Samwise Goes to Olympia (2004 March for Life)