Although it is very hard for me to believe this, it has been over 25 years ago now, that I, while as a seminarian on break,  can remember visiting with parishioners one Sunday after Mass at my home parish, Sacred Heart in Oxford, PA.  As I was greeting many people whom I had not seen for a while, a young man of about 13 or 14 who I knew from the parish CYO came up to me to say “Hi” I said “Louie, It’s great to see you, how are you?” He said “OK” in a less than an enthusiastic manner to which I responded, “Are you sure; is there something wrong?” “No,” he said, “it’s just that I have to go to CCD class.” (CCD is what we in Oxford used to call religious education classes for children who did not attend Catholic School). “That’s not so bad is it?” I asked. “I guess not,” he said,” except for the fact that they keep on talking about the same old things, things I already know all about.” “Oh,” I said, “can you give me an example of something that they keep on talking about of which you already know?” He said “you know, Love.” Now, it is very true that I am not so sure that young Louie’s understanding of love would match that which is displayed in the words of St. Paul in our second reading which are as follows: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.” However, it did show me that there was something very valuable that he did understand; there was a connection that he had made. He may not have known all about Catholic Education, but he definitely had a sense that it always pointed to love.  As we conclude Catholic Schools Week that is indeed a connection of which we need to be aware. All the wonderful learning that we experience in all of the different grade levels and all of the different subjects and activities is always about helping us to know, to understand, to experience and to share the love of God. That is what it is always about. We learn about the truths of God’s universe so that we can better receive and share His love.  And this education does not stop. We never ever get to the point, even though Louie thought he had done so, where we can say that we know all about love. And that is what makes our lives so adventurous and exciting. So, my young friend Louie does have a lesson that remains valid and valuable to each and every one of us to the present day and throughout eternity: Catholic Education is indeed always meant to be all about love. That’s what Louie knew.

AuthorCathy Remick