SOMERS, N.Y. - This week has been designated Catholic Schools Week in Somers, a time earmarked for faculty and staff of Catholic schools to reflect upon the value of Catholic education.
“The Catholic school experience is not just about athletics and academics. It’s about our enthusiasm for the faith," said Alex Malecki on behalf of Somers’ Kennedy High School.
On Monday evening Fordham University professor of theology Rev. Joseph Lienhard spoke at Kennedy High to members of the staff and faculty. Lienhard traced the origins of Catholic education to St. Augustine, noting that true knowledge is not something to be bought and sold, but something passed down as from father to son. It is a constant, lifelong process.
“It’s not just preparation for the next level of education,” Malecki explained. “It’s preparation for a life of critical thinking. Enthusiasm for learning never stops.”
The evening’s second speaker, Rev. Philip Eichner, Principal of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, N. Y., stressed the need for Catholic educators to foster St. Augustine’s principles through the force of their own personalities and enthusiasm.
“It is not enough just to teach concepts and morality,” Malecki said, quoting Eichner. “You must live and teach accordingly.”
There are 132,656 public and private schools in the U. S. Of these, 6,980 are Catholic elementary and high schools. This equates to approximately 5 percent of all schools. Kennedy Catholic High School has been rated as one of the country’s 50 best secondary schools by the Catholic High School Honor Roll.
“We fill a special niche in Northern Westchester. We get students from as far away as the Bronx and Dutchess County,” said Malecki.