Many hands make for an incredible community, especially when Christ is in the middle of it all.
Whether joined in prayer or engaged in the work of ministry, those hands are an extension of God’s hands for the students and families of the diocese’s 37 Catholic grade schools and three Catholic high schools, along with the countless parishioners and benefactors who help make it all possible.
“How blessed are we to live and work in a diocese built on the spirituality of stewardship!” stated Dr. Erin Vader, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Jefferson City diocese.
As families enjoy their remaining days of summer vacation, the administrators are hard at work laying the groundwork for another successful year.
“All of us involved in the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Jefferson City are grateful to serve, blessed by our bishop and our pastors, delighted with our students and alumni, and proud to partner with the first and best teachers of our students: their parents,” she wrote in a State of the Schools report to the people of the diocese.
In that report, available HERE, Dr. Vader recounts the past year’s successes in carrying Catholic education and faith formation through the pandemic and into the future.
She noted that according to last year’s standardized tests, students continued learning and moving ahead through distance learning.
Administrators of all the diocese’s Catholic schools have continued working together to review and update the standard curriculum for all of the schools, including faith formation, mathematics and language arts.
The process of reviewing curriculum will continue this year as pastors, administrators, families and staff work with diocesan personnel to provide the safest, most effective learning environment for students of all ages.
All the while, parishes, which are already committed to supporting their schools as part of their overall ministry, are moving closing to a full stewardship model under the diocesan pastoral plan.
Pastors and parish leaders are learning about the importance of having all parishioners pledge to God a return on their gifts of time, talent and treasure as a necessary response to the call to discipleship.
This will influence all aspects of parish ministry, including Catholic education, ensuring not only its long-term vitality but also its conformity to Jesus’s Great Commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:19-20).
At Mass Aug. 4 with 65 new Catholic school teachers of the diocese, Monsignor Robert A. Kurwicki noted that there will be challenges during this school year, as there are during any other year.
“Keep your eyes focused on the Lord and the mission He gives us, and He will help you,” said Msgr. Kurwicki, vicar general for the diocese. “He will guide you, bless you and keep you.”