Editorial | A vital part of our mission

Catholic schools are a vital aspect of the Church's mission to preach the Gospel, Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Neb., and Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, told their fellow U.S. bishops last fall in a report on Catholic schools in the U.S. and underserved populations.

Catholic schools are a unique and rich blessing to the Church, the bishops said in their report. The schools offer hope when they reach out to diverse populations of Catholic children, they added.

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Summer downtime is good for your brain

Kurt Nelson

"I'm bored!" How many times has that phrase been uttered at your house this summer? Parents and caregivers cringe at that complaint, but it might actually be more of an opportunity for your child than a problem.

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Prayer, virtue and dignity don't take a summer break

Kurt Nelson

Imagine you're a parent giving a ride to your elementary school daughter and some of her friends. In the back seat, you hear some of them start gossiping about someone not in the car. Another child pipes up with, "you know, this kind of talk is not very virtuous." What would you expect to happen next? Perhaps you might brace yourself for the others in the car to call the child who spoke up a "goody two-shoes" or some similar words of disapproval.

Cardinal Parolin calls for overhaul in education to focus on the person

VATICAN CITY -- The current "culture of conflict" is an indication that schools and universities need to create conditions that will develop "a new humanism" and "rebuild a spirit of fraternity among people and nations," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

"The current context of hatred and contempt among people is constituted by a radical rejection of humanity in the other," said Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, June 3. "The acceptance of diversity is therefore fundamental for mutual respect and for the freedom to express one's own ideas and religious convictions."

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Where the tires roll

Kurt Nelson

When I was in fourth grade, one of my school assignments was to write an autobiography. Oblivious to how funny it was to ask a 9-year-old to summarize his life experience, I wrote and illustrated my (albeit young) life story and titled it, "Where the Tires Roll."

The title came from my life as the son of a college football coach, a nomadic lifestyle. The closest parallel is having a parent in the military. Every two to three years, we packed up and moved to another college town.

St. James principal retires after 44 years at the school

Karen Battaglia, principal of St. James the Greater School in Dogtown, is retiring this year after 44 years at the school — her entire educational career. The school honored her with a surprise ice cream party and gave her the brass school bell she rings every morning as a going-away present. Father Christopher Dunlap, parochial administrator of the parish, presented the bell to Battaglia.

In a few weeks, Karen Battaglia's famous school bell will fall silent when she retires from St. James the Greater.

But on May 14, St. James was far from silent as students cheered and pounded the cafeteria tables at a surprise party honoring their principal.

"Everything Miss Battaglia has done in her 44 years here has all been for you," Father Chris Dunlap, parochial administrator of the parish, told the students. "She has sacrificed; she has shown you what it means to love."

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