St. Maurice School
Class of 2016
My name is Suzie and I have been attending St. Maurice since kindergarten and will be graduating this June. Over the past 13 years, I have had the opportunity to grow in my faith as a part of my education, and this year, I am thankful to be the high school’s religious events coordinator. Basically, I plan various events throughout the year as well as help to create an atmosphere where we can all grow to love God.
Quite simply, there would be no point to my job if this weren’t a Catholic school-in fact, it wouldn’t even exist. Not only that, but imagine not being able to express your faith at all. Catholic schools nourish young people’s faith in Christ and allows them to challenge their personal relationship with God.
I know that sometimes going to class Mass, having religion class, and praying at numerous times throughout the day can become more of a habit and less meaningful as time goes on. Everything to do with the Church and our faith has become a lot like clockwork. But, I think that without that chance, we would be missing out on something.
A school without God’s acceptance would be a lot like not being around your best friend. Friends are supposed to be there for you and guide you to be a better person. They help you through hard times, and without them, you would feel lost. It is the same with God. If we don’t invite the Holy Spirit into our building, our atmosphere would turn from our close-knit family life to distant, unconnected relationships.
Without the foundation of religion that contains ethics and the acceptance that we are not the ‘boss’, we wouldn’t be a family. When we acknowledge that we are sinners and are in need of forgiveness, God gives us the ability to be better people. What I mean by this is that imagine an atmosphere where students and teachers aren’t allowed to even mention God. Whether you are Catholic or not, I think we can all agree that the unique environment here at St. Maurice would drastically change if we weren’t a Catholic school.
Personally, I love that I can be who I am here because a major part of who I am is my religion. Not being allowed to mention or speak about God, my faith, or pray as a school would be a lot like not being allowed to talk to or talk about my best friend. Here at St. Maurice we should be proud of our heritage and who we are. I love that we all come from different faith backgrounds but can all share common ground in God.
As Catholics, we are called to be witnesses to the Church as well as caring about other people’s faiths. There aren’t many schools that give us the opportunity to do this. I know that a big part of my education is all about learning about each other and where they came from.
Two of my good friends here happen to be part of the Sikh religion and often times we talk about what we believe in. If they don’t understand something of the Catholic faith, I can explain it to them and they can share part of their faith with me.
I truly believe this is the key to reduce racism and hatred. When we care about each other and where they come from, we are really able to find commonalities and accept each other as children of God.
For example, the other day, I noticed that these friends of mine had a Sikh symbol on the rearview mirror of their car and I asked them what it was. They explained to me that that particular symbol represents the fundamental concepts of their religion. The symbol is called the Khanda and it is two swords surrounding another dagger-like object. In their faith, they believe in strength and they know that they are called to defend themselves and others against all evil. We totally bonded on the realization that my crucifix hanging on our rearview mirror and their Khanda hanging on theirs is basically the same thing and both stand for our religion.
My crucifix is so important to me and I wear it every day. If I went to a public school, I wouldn’t be allowed to wear it. I can see that a bunch of us wear religious symbols of all kinds. I can’t imagine having to hide my religion in a place I go to everyday. We spend so much time here, so why can’t we be at home here?
There are so many small things that would be shut down if Catholic schools didn’t exist. In a much changing secular society, it is vital to allow students to feel like it is okay to believe in God and to believe in him.
How we interact here and treat each other is all based on what we believe. We are called to love and respect each other. We live because of his sacrifice. As Christians, we are called to be witnesses to God’s gospel and how can we do that if we are too afraid to stand up for God? If you aren’t exposed to God from a young age, you quickly forget about him.
I think that Catholic schools create the necessary atmosphere and help students to grow in a place that they can be themselves for not being able to express my faith would be a lot like coming to school without my right arm.
If I went to a public school, I wouldn’t be able to write what I wrote on my grad sweater, which was 1 Timothy 4:12 in Scriptures. This bible verse says:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example to the believers in your speech, you conduct, your love, faith, and your purity.”