Pastoral Thought



            As you may know, I visit public schools when I have a chance, the schools in our local Red Clay District, and the vocational high schools. This includes all the local charter schools.

            The reason originally was that we have a large number of children whose parents are immigrants from Mexico. I discovered—in a tragic way—what can happen when teenagers whose parents both work, as many do, drop out of school at 16. I decided that part of my pastor responsibility is to strengthen all our young people’s resolve to complete at very least high school.

            As time went on I realized that our public schools are the place where the future adult citizens of our society will spend at least 6 hours a day, 180 days a year from age 4 to 18. How can education not have a major role in shaping the character of our children? If by ‘character’ we mean the person’s basic honesty, reliability and commitment to making society better, then the only comparable influence is the family and the Church/religious tradition. All must work together, understand one another, and support one another. The public school must not reach religious belief, or the moral demands that come from faith. But it supports the faith values of home and religion by instilling in students responsibility for their present and future.

            So, yes, I find these visits worthwhile. Almost always I am impressed at all the different levels by the effort our education puts out.

Father John Hynes