The Friday Five: Educating for Life

This post is the last of a series of posts during Catholic Schools Week.

By: Elise Italiano

On my list of books to read is this gem from Ignatius Press: Education for Choosing Life: Proposals for Difficult Times. It’s a compilation of texts from Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who asserts that “teaching is an act of hope, which requires a vision of what it means to be human, the belief that this vision can be realized to some degree even in a fallen world, and the creativity to find ways to achieve it.”

In this edition of The Friday Five, I’d like to highlight how the Diocese of Arlington, by the grace of God, is educating for life.

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St. Joseph Catholic School in Herndon celebrated Catholic Schools Week with its 37th annual talent show Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Tin Nguyen / Fairfax County Times)

1. Teaching is an act of hope. Today we conclude the national celebration of Catholic Schools Week. You can read the testimonies of members of our diocesan school community who each conveyed how a Catholic education, rooted in the revelation of Jesus Christ, differs from any other. Their words are available on our blog as well as our Twitter account.

Our newest diocesan Twitter account @arlingtonOCS used this week to highlight #DidYouKnow facts about Catholic Schools in the diocese.

Our newest diocesan Twitter account @arlingtonOCS used this week to highlight #DidYouKnow facts about Catholic Schools in the diocese. Search #DidYouKnow and #CSW15 to find more of them and share!

Superintendent Sister Bernadette McManigal said this week in an interview with The Fairfax County Times: “People usually hear stories of Catholic schools closing, but that’s not the case here. We have a growing population in this area that we continue to serve.”

What a privilege it is to be here — in a place of hope for the future.

2. A vision of what it means to be human. “The glory of God is man fully alive,” said St. Irenaeus. This video of our Life is Very Good event speaks to that truth.

3. The belief that this vision can be realized, even in a fallen world. Working for a more just society — this is the responsibility of all Catholic Christians. This past Thursday, Jan. 29, Bishop Loverde joined Bishop DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond at the 2015 Catholic Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Virginia Catholic Conference. To read more about the VCC’s Legislative Agenda (which covers issues pertaining to life, education, criminal justice, health care and conscience protection) and to sign up for email alerts, click here.

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Bishop Loverde and some students at Catholic Advocacy Day 2015.

4. The creativity to find ways to achieve it. “One innovative school that’s become a model for others.” This is how Paul VI High School was described when it made national news this Wednesday on EWTN News Nightly. Reporter Jason Calvi offered a glimpse into PVI’s Options Program, a modified inclusive education for high school-age students with intellectual disabilities. PVI was one of the first Catholic schools in the nation to provide anything like it. The story begins at minute 15:56. Click on the image below to see the video.

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5. One the most important lessons that a Catholic education provides is that knowledge should increase our love…love of wisdom, love of neighbor, love of Truth Himself. Perhaps this weekend in our rest, we can pray as the patron of Catholic schools, St. Thomas Aquinas, did: “Lord, in my zeal for truth, let me not forget the truth about love.” 

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