It’s Catholic Schools week, so we asked a couple of teachers what it means to be a Catholic educator. Before we get there, we wanted to share this from a former Xavier principal, the late Brother James Kelly, C.F.X., who wrote two books. His first book was “Respecting The Man The Boy Will Become.”
It had done pretty well, and Brother Kelly writes in his second book that “it was suggested to me that it could become a national best seller if I could edit out God and the Xaverian Brothers. To that I replied, ‘Why don’t you just rip my heart out?’ We Xaverian Brothers educate in faith: ‘Everything with God, nothing without God.’ He also said that a Xaverian education was at the very core of his being, informing everything he did, said, and wrote.
There remains something special about a Xaverian education.
Here is Ms. Meghan Keefe, a science teacher:
“Being a Catholic Schools educator means that I get to be genuinely and wholly myself. Working in a Catholic school allows me to incorporate my faith in ways that I would never be able to do so in a different setting.
“I have the privilege of not only teaching but learning from my students every day! By being blessed enough to work in a Catholic school, I am able to grow not only in my profession but also my faith. I also feel that by being able to show our community who I truly am, I am able to grow more as a person in all aspects of my life and form deeper relationships with all members of our community.”
Here is Brother Thomas Ryan, C.F.X., who has devoted much of his life to being an educator as a Xaverian Brother:
“This may not directly answer the question posed – what does it mean to be a Catholic Schools educator – but I know what the result of having taught in three different Xaverian Brothers’ schools for almost 50 years has been for me: to have been blessed to meet and teach and work with, and come to know the finest young men with whom God has blessed this good earth.
“Each year I feel incredibly humbled and proud as I see another class of Xavier men graduate, men of faith and decency and intelligence and morality and industry who, over four years, have embraced Xavier’s motto to ‘Be A Man.’
“Many, many years ago an administrator at another Xaverian Brothers’ school wrote in a parent newsletter that he felt both a sense of pride but also mourning at each year’s graduation ceremony. Pride that another band of Catholic school men were off to begin a new and exciting chapter in their lives, but also mourning – that so many of these young men the faculty had come to know and respect and love were leaving for the final time, some never to meet again. But if four years of a Xaverian Catholic education had prepared these young men for that graduation day and all that would follow in their lives, it was certainly worth the pride and joy and also, to some extent, that sense of loss.”