Last week was quite a week for the more than 5,800 students and the hundreds of faculty and staff who make up today’s Catholic school community in Middle Tennessee.
But the celebration of this community is really a celebration of Nashville itself, because at the heart of this year’s Catholic Schools Week is the legacy of these Catholic educational institutions and the impact these institutions and their students continue to have on our community.
Catholic education is actually one of the oldest and most successful educational models in this city and in much of the country. In fact, three of the oldest educational institutions of any level in the entire state of Tennessee are Catholic, each started between 1856 and 1866.
But it isn’t just their age that makes Catholic schools important. It is their unique purpose and success.
Established and supported by immigrant families and their churches, Catholic schools were created to provide an education and an environment, rooted in our faith but open to all, that would raise the level of opportunity for these children, and as a result better these families and their communities.
That commitment to a quality education, a welcoming environment and the tenets of the Catholic faith made these schools important at their inception, and the accomplishments of their students and alumni continue to demonstrate their value. It’s on display around our city today. (continue reading at Tennessean)