- Candace Neff Director
News & Press Releases
In an effort to provide those who visit this site with up-to-date information regarding events or stories of interest happening within the diocese, the Secretariat for Communications researches and prepares articles and news releases.
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Celebrate Catholic Schools!
Another Catholic Schools Week celebration has begun, providing an opportune time to look at some of the reasons why Catholic Schools are an attractive option for families in northern Michigan. As a parent myself, and as Superintendent for Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Gaylord, I believe the overriding reason parents should consider a Catholic education is to provide an outstanding, faith-filled education for their children. The Catholic Church affirms that parents are the first educators of their children. In a true sense, Catholic Schools are an extension of the home. The Church offers help to our families through our Catholic Schools to ensure the spiritual formation of their children.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated, “We must provide young people with an academically rigorous and doctrinally sound program of education and faith formation designed to strengthen their union with Christ and his Church. Catholic schools collaborate with parents and guardians in raising and forming their children as families struggle with the changing and challenging cultural and moral contexts in which they find themselves. Catholic schools provide young people with sound Church teaching through a broad-based curriculum, where faith and culture are intertwined in all areas of a school's life.” – USCCB website (Catholic Schools on the Threshold, No. 9).
Catholic Schools, working in partnership with parents, provide a strong foundation for students not only to excel in school, but in life. According to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) website, over the past five years Catholic schools across the nation have graduated 99% of their students. In the Diocese of Gaylord, the graduation rate is about the same and 98% of high school graduates go on to attend college, university, trade school, or the military within one year after graduation. Academically, the composite scores for Catholic high school students in our diocese taking the ACT this past spring was a 24. That compares very favorably to the state average on the same test of a 20.3. Testing through the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) in 2015 revealed 90% of students attending Catholic Schools in our diocese scored proficient in reading and 84% of students scored proficient in math. These scores are well above national and local numbers. Because of the strong home and school connection, students receive help and support for their instructional needs where and when needed. The results are impressive when schools and parents team up in this way!
As the threat of outside imposition of liberal values increases, a reality already faced by our public school brethren, our parents can be assured that their Catholic schools will continue to provide a safe and consistent environment where the teachings from home are reinforced all day and every day at school. Virtuous behavior based upon the Ten Commandments and the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ is still attainable when attending a school community that teaches and reinforces right behavior and traditional values.
It is never too late to consider enrolling your child in a Catholic school in your area. Please go to the diocesan website at www.dioceseofgaylord.org to see where our schools are located and to get more information. You do not need to be from a particular parish or city to attend a Catholic School close to you. You are also welcome to call me at 989.732.5147.
I would be happy to answer any questions you might have on Catholic education in the Diocese of Gaylord. May God bless you and your children as you prepare for another school year in Northern Michigan!
Superintendent, Diocese of Gaylord Catholic Schools