The start of a new school year is always the time of transition, forming new habits of school work and, normally, moving away from or altering summer habits. This certainly goes for both students and parents. Whether you’re a parent or student – or both -forming habits, by their very nature, is not easy. How can the saints help us in this regard and how can their help be transmitted to us?
- John Henry Newman and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Here’s a snapshot of two Saints who devoted their lives to education: Saint Teresa Benedicta of the cross Edith Stein and St John Henry Newman. Edith Stein worked tirelessly as an educator, especially of young women. She stressed that education goes far beyond the subject matter: it’s about forming persons, forming men and women. In this way it is clear that education always needs to focus on the spiritual elements of the person, not only the material or social elements.
Both Saints tirelessly spent their energy for the good of transmitting the faith to the next generation and forming the hearts, mines, and souls of young people. It’s interesting to know that both Saints converted to Catholicism in their adult years, Newman from the Anglican Church – already a prelate – and Stein from Judaism. Heroes don’t just have great powers and do amazing things: they inspire, they change people’s lives by their example. Saints are heroes of the faith.
One big advantage of Catholic education, in addition to academic excellence and being committed to opening children’s mind to truth, is that Catholic schools but the lives and examples of the Saints front and center in the classroom. Big or small, there’s always a saint that you can relate to, a saint whose Life experiences are very close to our own. At our school, children are put in contact with the lives of the Saints on a regular basis and is an integral part of the school’s approach to Catholic education. Whether it’s a patron saint of a kid’s dream job or one of the numerous stories of young Saints, there’s inspiration just waiting to happen for everyone. There are so many conflicting role models out there today, so many different ways of living or ideals that we are told we should aspire to. At our school, students are given the very best: lives of exemplary virtue in the face of real life struggles and the Holiness of lives lived for the love of God and neighbor.