As you conclude the thirty-sixth annual Catholic Schools Week, hopefully a good deal of appreciation has come your way. As a teacher you deserve it.

But for a moment I’d ask you to pause and read the story of one Catholic High School Student from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in Minneapolis. His name is Michael Floyd. Because he is a highly skilled football player who has verbally accepted a full athletic scholarship to Notre Dame, his story has recently been publicized. In it, his mother, Theresa Romeo, gives a powerful witness to the benefits of a Catholic education along with great testimony to her own and her son’s dramatic work ethic.

She said of Cretin-Derham Hall: “It’s a fantastic school. They basically guarantee you that any child will do well there if they want to . . . The desire in my heart is that every kid in America have the chance to go to a school like that or something similar. We would have scientists and geniuses and somebody worth voting for.”

Catholic schools through the generations have prided themselves on offering all children a chance to reap the benefits of a total education as offered Michael Floyd at Cretin-Derham.

To that end, commendation is also due this week to the Our Sunday Visitor Board of Directors who awarded a $4 million dollar gift to four Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend with the intent on providing financial aid assistance to deserving students. Principal Mary Keefer of Bishop Luers High School expressed appreciation for the generous gift: “We have more than enough kids and families who want Catholic education for their children and just can’t afford it” Keefer said. “This is just such a blessing. We’re thrilled.”