Message for Catholic Schools Week 2009

st-paul-teachingThe New Testament shows us that St. Paul was a gentle, fatherly man. He was patient and broad-minded. St. Paul communicated successfully with more different kinds of people than just about anyone ever has.

At the same time, the New Testament also clearly reveals that St. Paul was relentlessly precise. He had a prodigious intellect. He put all of it at the service of the truth of God. Christian Revelation is not vague—it involves specifics, facts. Therefore, St. Paul was never vague.

Today is the feast day of two of St. Paul’s pupils, Saints Timothy and Titus.

Let us try to imagine St. Paul as a teacher. Let us imagine him training Timothy and Titus to be bishops.

We can be sure that the Apostle bent every effort to understand his students and help them. We can be sure that he was patient with them.

st-paul-woocutWe can also be sure that he was demanding. St. Paul surely insisted that his students learn all the details of divine Revelation.

For St. Paul, training to be an Apostle of Christ was not a matter of learning a bunch of bromides and facile platitudes. It was about learning the wonderful facts of Revelation and putting them into practice with scrupulous attention to detail.

Today is a day for us to give thanks for all those who have bent the effort to teach us the faith. The more demanding our teachers have been on themselves and on us, the greater a blessing they have been to us.

We are not born knowing the truth about God. We are born ignorant. We need teachers. We need to study.

When we learn enough to teach, then we can do the great service of enlightening the ignorance of others.

No task is more urgent than learning and teaching the truth by which mankind is saved. Nothing is more important and nothing is more generous than diligently learning and punctiliously teaching the Catholic faith.

2 thoughts on “Message for Catholic Schools Week 2009

  1. Best quote from a Fr. White homily: “No task is more urgent than learning and teaching the truth by which mankind is saved.”

  2. Sadly, however, many of the “approved” textbooks now used in Catholic Schools and CCD classes only teach the Catholic faith in an occasional “begrudging” footnote. Perhaps this is why the graduates of so many “Catholic” schools are cafeteria catholics including many of our own state government representatives whose voting records consistently defy church teaching.

    Yet another TRUE CATHOLIC teacher was lost this week with the death of Monsignor William B. Smith, a courageous and unwaveringly faithful Professor of Moral Theology. Monsignor Smith never spoke platitudes or double talk or spin; rather he taught the Catholic faith in a quiet, non-confrontational yet direct and succinct manner which left no “wiggle room” and provided the means to an INFORMED CONSCIENCE to anyone who listened.

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