Rowing with Only One Oar Makes the Boat Go in Circles

February 2, 2018

Here is another Catholic Schools Week parent letter I was asked to re-post:

As we end Catholic Schools Week, I would like to share a few thoughts on the critical relationship between the school and you, the parents.

Thinking about the importance of working together to educate our children brought to mind some marriage advice I once heard: The notion of a marriage being a ‘50-50’ partnership is a misnomer. It must be ‘100-100’ – both parties must be ‘all in’ or the relationship is doomed to fail.

It is imperative that we recognize that none of us are able to do the important work of educating and forming our children on our own. We need each other. We are partners.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is quite clear when it comes to educating your children: “Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery—the preconditions of all true freedom” (CCC 2223).

As your Catholic high school of choice, we are an extension of your home. When we refer to Bishop Chatard as a family, we mean it! We work to create a seamless transition from your home of tenderness, forgiveness, and respect to a school community bearing witness to the same. We support and continue the above-mentioned apprenticeship begun at home within the context of an honorable community.

Where do our children learn values? Where is their faith deepened? Where are their spiritual lives formed? Where does evangelization take place? Where do they learn how to treat one another? Is it at home or is it at school? The answer is “Yes” to both. Neither operates in a vacuum. The effort to educate our children will fall miserably short if either the home or the school shirks its responsibility.

Quality Catholic education and formation don’t just happen because we say so. Like any good partnership, it takes work and commitment. It requires us to be on the same page and it demands that we hold one another accountable.

We invite Bishop Chatard families to embrace this partnership. From the outset, let us support one another’s efforts, respect one another’s role, and value the gifts each brings to the table. Let’s also agree not to let each other off the hook – the boat goes in circles with only one oar in the water.

Are you ‘all in’?



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