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Catholic schools instill message of unity and hope

012221Knazur Jaycob 

 

By Jaycob Knazur

Guest columnist

 

      Never before has Catholic education been more relevant and needed in Northwest Indiana and our nation. Plagued and inundated with division, fear and despair, the tenets of our Catholic faith call us to unity, boldness and hope. Each day in our diocesan schools, we take on the charge to inspire and instill that message of unity and hope in our students’ lives. We rest in the expectation that our students will identify, refine, and exemplify the gifts imparted to them to serve a society thirsty and hungry for their witness.

      Catholic education in the Diocese of Gary is charged to show that all students can intentionally and thoughtfully hear the call that God has imparted to them. Inspired by the hymn “We Are Called,” we know that Christ calls us as individuals and as members of His body to live in comm with Him and His people.

      As God has created each of us in His image, we know the innate dignity that our life (is adding the impact it) can have on the world regardless of position, status, age or circumstance. As Bishop Andrew Grutka often professed, we serve as pieces of the great mosaic of our Catholic faith as well as the human condition. Each of us vital, each of us necessary, each of us noticed, each of us offering a facet that makes the picture complete.

      We are called to act with justice. We ingrain in our students to seek the right in our society, to analyze the world in a spirit of equity in which the last shall be first with special attention paid to the marginalized – the orphan, the widow, and the stranger. We act in the spirit of equity so that all have a seat at the table and all have access to the benefit and duty of a Catholic education. We fight so that all members of our community have access and a seat in our classrooms. Once seated, we challenge our faculty and our policies to light the path of personal success intended for the service of others. That justice, our justice, imparts our love.

      We are called to love tenderly. We seek a society rooted in the love of our neighbor. Being made in the image and likeness of God, we see God in each of us (regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, identity, or faith background), so as to mirror the ordinary with the holy. Our Christian call necessitates a love in action. That love, our love, imparts our service.

      We are called to serve one another. We seek a life in radical and eternal service to our brothers and sisters as our life is dependent on the lot of our neighbor both within the halls of our schools, to our immediate community, as well as God’s greater kingdom. We are our brother’s keeper; our justice and love provide a selflessness that mandates service to God’s people, and through that, God himself. That service, our service, directs our path.

      To walk humbly with God. The journey of faith mandates a constant dialogue and interaction with God just as our education fosters constant learning. Our walk is not complete and our service, love and justice to Him and for Him is not yet satisfied. The need for us and our students to “say yes” is ever-present as we put our faith in action through intention and good works.

      We are charged to hear our unique call in the common mission. We are charged to be effective witnesses of faith as members in our school and parish communities. Our pursuit of justice leads to our tender love reflected in our service which guides our path to God. We are called.

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