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Back To School 2015

Kindergarten student Kellen Keahey holds his hands together during morning prayer on the first day of school at St. Luke Catholic School in Irving on Aug. 17. (BEN TORRES/Special Contributor)

Kindergarten student Kellen Keahey holds his hands together during morning prayer on the first day of school at St. Luke Catholic School in Irving on Aug. 17. (BEN TORRES/Special Contributor)

By Bishop Kevin J. Farrell
Publisher of The Texas Catholic

There seems something incongruous about the beginning of the fall semester and a mid-August heatwave, but the opening of school is indeed here. Students are returning to our Catholic high schools and elementary schools this month. During the summer administrators and teachers have been preparing for their return.

With the retirement of Sister Gloria Cain, SSND, as superintendent of Catholic schools, a search is under way for her replacement. During the interregnum, Sister Dawn Achs, SSND, and Dr. Ann Poore will serve as interim co-superintendents, while continuing to carry out their regular assignments.

Once again, I commend and thank the administrators and teachers for maintaining such a high level of academic excellence in our schools and compliment our parents on the sacrifices they are making to provide a value-centered Catholic education for their children. Happily, we are able to offer financial assistance to many.

This year, our Diocese of Dallas is observing the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1890 by Pope Leo XIII. Our Catholic schools are even older, dating to 1874 and marking 141 years of educational excellence this fall. Today the need for a value-centered Catholic education to reinforce the example and teaching of parents is greater than ever.

Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, addresses the importance of Catholic education today.

“We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data — all related as being of equal importance — and which leads to a remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values.” (EG 64)

Our children deserve no less.

Bishop Kevin J. Farrell is the seventh bishop of Dallas. Read his blog at bishopkevinfarrell.org/blog.

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