Message from Bishop Glen John Provost
for Catholic Schools Week – January 25-31

The Catholic Church values its commitment to education. While parents are the first and primary educators of their children, the Church has historically assisted them in this cherished task.

It was the Catholic Church that sustained schools during the most difficult and historic times of war, conflict, and transition. The Catholic Church began the university system of education almost a thousand years ago. The Church fostered the scientific method, opened the first medical schools in the West, maintained the first libraries, and helped spread the use of printing. In our own state of Louisiana, the first schools were founded by the Church in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and the oldest schools in our area are Catholic institutions. While acknowledging this valuable contribution to our society and our civilization, we must also look to the future.

As Catholic Schools Week comes to an end, we are aware of the challenges that face our world. The present economic crisis is a cause for great concern, not to mention the strains brought upon us in Southwest Louisiana by the recent hurricanes. As serious as these crises are, a much more fundamental problem is the disintegration of the family and moral life in our society.

I firmly believe that Catholic Schools can assist in re-affirming the values and principles of life and love. These values and principles are based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church. They are found in our Sacred Scriptures and our Sacred Tradition, and the Church is their uncompromising teacher. In gently guiding our young, providing them with needed discipline and the knowledge they will need to live a healthy and well-balanced life, Catholic Schools continue to fulfill their mission.

May Catholic Schools be a dynamic force in strengthening our parents, families, children, and society.

+Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles