To Teach as Jesus Did:
Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
April 25, 2017
"The Easter Season: Living What We Learned"
As children, it was customary for us to end our Lenten practices on Holy Saturday, usually after we’d gone to church for the blessing of the Easter food. Whatever we’d “given up” for the previous six weeks—TV or candy or time on the phone with our friends—came back into our lives full force. Lent, at long last, was over!
A slightly different perspective now encourages us to view Lent primarily as a time to develop “habits of grace,” practices and dispositions of charity and prayer that will become part of our very lives and continued long after the season of penitence is over.
During Lent 2017, our 107 elementary and secondary Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee took seriously their commitment to developing such virtuous habits through focused practices of prayer, charity, and sacrifice. Specific examples of these efforts in our schools include:
- Collections for sister parishes or specific projects in the Dominican Republic (Latrine Project), Guatemala, Uganda, Haiti, Panama, and Peru at St. Joseph, Grafton, John Paul II Academy, Racine, Divine Savior, Fredonia, St. Mary, Burlington, St. Eugene, Fox Point, Dominican High School, All Saints Catholic School, Kenosha, Prince of Peace, Milwaukee, Holy Family, Whitefish Bay, St. John Vianney, Brookfield, and St. Mary Visitation, Elm Grove.
- Contributing, through service and donations, to such sites as St. Ben’s Meal Program, Repairers of the Breach, Helping Hands, Feed My Starving Children, and River West Food Pantry at Messmer High School, St. John XXIII, Port Washington, St. Peter’s, East Troy, Lumen Christi, Mequon, Blessed Savior, Milwaukee, St. Katharine Drexel, Beaver Dam, St. John the Evangelist, Greenfield, and St. Joseph, Big Bend.
- Performing clean-up services at the Urban Ecology Center and local sites in light of Laudato Si at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and St. Thomas Aquinas, Waterford.
- Participating in special Lenten prayer experiences at all schools, especially St. Matthew, Campbellsport, St. Roman, Milwaukee, St. Robert, Shorewood, St. Mary, Mayville, St. Andrew, Delavan, and Shepherd of the Hills, Eden.
- Supporting refugees from countries such as Burma and Syria at St. Mary Parish School, Menomonee Falls, and St. Joseph Catholic Academy, Kenosha.
- Reaching out to the sick, elderly, and veterans at St. Matthew, Oak Creek, St. Mary, Hales Corners, Marquette University High School, Catholic Memorial High School, and St. John the Baptist School, Plymouth.
- Educating students about and supporting Catholic Relief Services at Pius XI Catholic High School and Nativity Jesuit Academy, Milwaukee.
- Supporting the work of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee at St. Dominic, Brookfield.
Many schools participated in multiple activities associated with the Catholic Social Teachings referenced above. In a number of schools, each grade level adopted its own special Lenten practice in addition to being involved in a school-wide project. Across the archdiocese, Lent was a meaningful time for prayer, service, and self-discipline in our school communities, large and small.
Now we continue our journey of transformation into Christ, grateful for Lenten experiences that taught us what it means to “give” as well as to “give up.”
Blessed Easter season!
Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools