As a 14-year-old in my last year of grade school, I am proud and happy to say that I attend a Catholic school. Why? Because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about my beliefs and to spread the word of God.
I’ve learned another way to spread God’s word is by revealing God to others through my everyday actions. All of the teachers, staff and students are caring, kind, considerate and helpful. My school provides me many opportunities to have a fun, memorable time.
For example, we have fun during dress-up weeks and at special events. We also donate to others in need while doing this. Our all-school Mass energizes my faith. I love how our priest pleases all grades with his wonderful, inspiring homilies. He always leaves us with a message every week to think about. He greets us at the school’s main entrance every day, rain or shine, bitter cold or roasting hot. Our priest unites our school as a family.
Although I love many more things about my school, there is one thing in particular that I think is the most important. St. Jude is a united school. Every grade takes part in all of the activities. Even if the focus is on one grade, the rest of the school is there to cheer and support them. Just like a family, we are united. We welcome everybody to our school and make them feel like they have been a part of the St. Jude family for years. Our school symbolizes the body of Christ since we are all one body in the community of God. We are all united as one under Christ.
During Catholic Schools Week I will be praying for my school and for Catholic schools around the world so that they may be touched the same way I have been on my journey. I will be praying for the teachers and staff of those schools so they may continue to be great examples to students and continue to brighten everyone’s lives with their love and dedication toward their students. Finally, I will be praying for the students so that they may be successful in their lives as young Catholics of the Church.
I have been at St. Jude for nine years. When I graduate I will never forget the impact the school has left on me, and I will never forget what they taught me about my Catholic faith. I am thankful I attend a Catholic school so I may embark on my journey through life with Jesus.
By Emma Agresta, sixth-grader
Going to a Catholic school has already made a huge impact on my life; I would be so different if I didn’t go to St. Jude. Faith is a big part of our school. We have an all-school project called Faith in Action. Every class takes its turn and shares what it did at Mass.
Our class “adopted” a girl named Ana who lives in Peru. We send her $30 every month. Other classes have donated books to children, have given extra service time to their community or have cleaned up around the school.
School Mass plays a large role in how I practice my faith; it is easy to get to know God during this time. Each classroom gets to lead a Mass, and that helps us grow in faith. There is a feeling I get at St. Jude that really builds me up to be a stronger version of myself. The students are great as they show kindness and sportsmanship and care about others.
St. Jude’s academics are another great reason to go to a Catholic school. The teachers make a difference in how I learn. They are approachable, and that is one of the best qualities a teacher can have. The teachers have a sense of humor but are firm and want to be respected. It is great to have instructors who take their time and love what they are doing.
There are opportunities to do extracurricular activities like competing on the speech team, serving at Mass, making announcements in the mornings, playing sports and participating in the geography and spelling bees.
Religion is one of my favorite classes. I love listening to the stories about miracles that happened in the past. I was recently taught that seeing is believing. ... If you do not love your neighbor, then you really don’t love God. But if you see God in them, you are a believer.
St. Jude is a place I love to be.
By Ryan Flick, eighth-grader
A Catholic school creates a safe and caring environment where students can live their faith through their words and actions. These schools focus on providing students with a top-quality, faith-based education.
A Catholic school helps children create strong, personal relationships with God. Students are held to the highest of standards and are prepared to be good citizens later in life. Teachers encourage their students to do their best academically and to pursue their goals in life.
By Ashley Flick, sixth-grader
Getting a Catholic education is important. St. Jude gives us challenging work to help us in our future years. The staff helps get us ready for the ISTEP, NWEA and SAT and prepares us for high school and college. They also give us opportunities to participate in the spelling bee, Spell Bowl and speech. My parents want me to get a good Catholic education, just as I want it for myself.
St. Jude offers many opportunities to help us grow in our faith. We pray often at school – in the morning, before and after lunch and before going home. As we receive the Eucharist at Mass on Thursdays, we grow closer to God. We also participate in adoration and reconciliation and pray the rosary often. Our students can get involved in NCYC, Just Kids and Edge.
Attending St. Jude allows me to learn about Jesus, become more Christ-like and prepares me academically for the future.
By Megan McNulty, sixth-grader
Going to St. Jude is important to me and my family.
Faith is the most important reason why I love going to a Catholic school. Faith is the most important part of my life as it reflects all I do.
Mass is a big part of how we celebrate our faith at St. Jude. We have an all-school Mass every Thursday. I love going to Mass because I feel included in everything that happens. Singing and praying makes it energetic and inviting.
Programs such as Faith in Action help us spread God’s word. The class that helps with the Mass does a kind deed throughout the week. At Mass they tell about their acts of kindness and give a picture of Jesus and a statue of St. Jude to the next class that will plan the Mass.
Another special thing about Catholic schools is that we have religion classes. It is a time to learn about God and reflect. I enjoy learning things like books of the Bible and the 10 Commandments.
The people around me is another reason why I love going to a Catholic school. Attitudes… people at St. Jude have great attitudes! Our school is made up of happy, friendly faces. Positive attitudes are what keep me going when I am having a bad day. People are kind, generous, and are always willing to help. Friends are very easy to make.
The teachers are always ready to help, and easy to approach. Students feel comfortable asking questions. Our school has exceptionally good students, but sometimes we don’t always do the right or nice thing. That is why our school has an anti-bullying program to prevent bad things from happening. It has really helped all the students at St. Jude become better people. Going to a Catholic school is very important to me. St. Jude is a wonderful place to learn, grow in my faith, and prepare me for the future.
Amelia Niezgodski, seventh-grader
Going to a Catholic school is a privilege for me; I am fortunate. One of the biggest things that sticks out is that I have gotten a deeper meaning of what Christianity truly is all about.
I have been taught to never give up on one another, the importance of teamwork and that the key to getting treated nicely and respectfully is to first be nice and respect others.
I have also learned that being a Catholic means loving everyone, even your enemies, being there for anyone who is going through tough times and putting yourself in their shoes before judging them.
Just as importantly, St. Jude has taught me how to be selfless, just like Jesus. We are taught to put others before ourselves ... that is the ultimate ingredient for peace. To help teach students how to be selfless, our teachers and staff have put around the school pieces of paper to write good deeds that we or others have performed. They have also hung up hints on how to serve others around the school hallways and they have each class do a good deed together and tell what they did to serve others to the whole school. These were two of the reasons why going to a Catholic school is a great privilege in my life.