Pastor's Corner

2020 01-26 Catholic Schools Week and the Patron Saint of Students, Saint Brigid of Kildare

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This week we celebrate “Catholic Schools Week.”  Catholic education has always been a priority for the Catholic bishops of our nation.  For many years, Catholic schools had been staffed primarily by dedicated nuns, religious brothers, and priests.  They are now staffed primarily by dedicated lay teachers who truly view teaching as their vocation.  They strive to educate and form students who will embrace and spread the faith.

As reported by the publication, “Catholic News Agency”, Dr. Tom Burnford, President of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), stated, “Catholic schools are instruments of the new evangelization.  They are evangelistic communities of faith that serve as a witness, not only to parents who come to the school but to the entire parish geography and surrounding areas.”  In addressing the education and formation of students in Catholic schools, he remains optimistic.  This is despite the increasingly secular cultural environment in this nation, rising tuition costs, and other challenges facing Catholic schools.  He noted, “Catholic schools have a bright future in the United States.  These schools work…in the formation of the whole person, and they’re such a gift to the country because of the quality of graduates, who contribute to society and to the Church.”

As we reflect on these comments, and as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, it is appropriate to note that this coming Saturday, February 1st,  we will also celebrate the feast day of Saint Brigid of Kildare, the patron saint of our Parish.  She is also the patron saint of students.  Catholic education was very important to her.  She worked to see that the Catholic faith was taught clearly and thoroughly, and she founded several schools.

As mentioned previously, Saint Brigid was an Irish Christian nun who was known for her extraordinary spirituality.  She worked tirelessly to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, and traveled widely throughout Ireland, founding many convents and fostering vocation awareness.  Saint Brigid organized communal consecrated religious life for the women of Ireland.  Her focus on communal prayer and work attracted many followers.  Along with Saint Patrick and others, she played a major role in making Ireland a Christian nation.  Many would travel long distances to seek her spiritual advice and counsel.  Many were led to the faith through her words and actions.

Saint Brigid is also associated with Christian charity and is celebrated for her generosity to those in need.   It was said that she could not bear to see anyone cold or hungry since she truly believed that Christ dwelt in every person.  She labored among the less fortunate with love and compassion.  Her love of God and love of neighbor were obvious to all who knew her.

As we celebrate the life of our patron saint, may we also look to her for guidance and strive to follow her example.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As mentioned previously, Saint Brigid was an Irish Christian nun who was known for her extraordinary spirituality.  She worked tirelessly to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, and travelled widely throughout Ireland, founding many convents and fostering vocation awareness.  Saint Brigid organized communal consecrated religious life for the women of Ireland.  Her focus on communal prayer and work attracted many followers.  Along with Saint Patrick and others, she played a major role in making Ireland a Christian nation.  Many would travel long distances to seek her spiritual advice and counsel.  Many were led to the faith through her words and actions.

 

Saint Brigid is also associated with Christian charity and is celebrated for her generosity to those in need.   It was said that she could not bear to see anyone cold or hungry since she truly believed that Christ dwelt in every person.  She labored among the less fortunate with love and compassion.  Her love of God and love of neighbor were obvious to all who knew her.

 

As we celebrate the life of our patron saint, may we also look to her for guidance and strive to follow her example.

                                                          

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