Developing a Catholic Identity
Our faith is our guidepost. Children in our Catholic schools learn from the very beginning what is right and what is wrong. They learn to honor God and their parents. This code of morals has served humanity for thousands of years because it teaches us how to behave toward others for our mutual benefit. When children have regular contact with others who follow Christ's teachings, they take to heart the principle that puts the welfare of others above their own. This is the most effective way to change the world for the better.
Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Buffalo nurture the following qualities in our students as they mature to Catholic adulthood:
- A strong sense of personal faith and prayer
- Religious knowledge
- An understanding of Catholic morality
- Community membership
- Commitment to the Eucharist as central to life as a Catholic
- Dedication to service and ministry to others
- Living out one's faith in the world
Our emphasis on faith is especially important when students face painful and perplexing questions in life. Mary Voglmayr, whose children attend Christ the King School in Snyder, recalls that, following a sudden death in the family, "my children were able to talk about this very sad experience and receive the love and reassurance of faith because they were in a school where the teachers are allowed to reinforce our beliefs as Catholics." She continued, "I think it is something special that our students are gathered together in the morning to begin their day with prayer."
All of our students begin the day with prayer, asking for God's help and guidance in their own lives and on behalf of others. Often the morning prayer reflects special concern for family and friends or for those in peril. Our students learn that, as children of God, they are connected to all humankind, and that prayer draws us closer through compassion and goodwill.
Only in Catholic schools are such things possible. Only in Catholic schools can our children's faith grow.