The 2022-23 Catholic school year is off to a very hopeful start. Students are on campus engaged in their communities where faith-filled positive learning environments permeate the culture. We are blessed with the knowledge that Christ imbues our culture and that the Holy Spirit guides us in our daily mission. Students will be challenged to live the Gospel message loving and serving God, one another and society.

Catholic education prepares students to embrace the spiritual values that Jesus modeled and taught as the reign of God. We are all reminded of the three greatest virtues — faith, hope, and love — as we embark on this new year. We all aspire to model Jesus’ teachings of the Beatitudes and make them part of daily living: Be a peacemaker; hunger and thirst for justice; be merciful and compassionate; do good; be humble; and seek righteousness.

There are dozens of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Portland. Each is guided by the Holy Spirit, and each has its own strengths. This year there are six new elementary principals, three new high school principals and four new high school presidents. Remember them all in your prayers as they begin a new journey in their vocation in Catholic education. Catholic schools have inspirational and stimulating programs to engage the mind, hear and hands of each learner.

St. Vincent de Paul Dual Immersion School in Salem is entering its fourth year, serving their community to educate biliterate, bicultural students to grow and serve the community.

Queen of Peace Catholic School won a Green Ribbon award for teaching and learning about, while living, reduced environmental impact and costs; improved health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education.

Several schools have developed programs that serve students with a wide range of learning challenges as Catholic schools better educate themselves on how to serve all students utilizing a variety of instructional practices designed with all students in mind.

Central Catholic High School continues to embrace the Rams Program where they offer inclusive Catholic education to high school age students with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Daily, students in all Catholic schools are challenged to continue growing intellectually as well as spiritually. Catholic schools are implementing intentional instruction in living the virtues and beatitudes and calling all educators and students to model the life of Christ. Students are offered opportunities to partner with their parishes and other local organizations to serve the greater community, inspiring them to live Gospel values and Catholic social justice teaching.

Catholic schools also continue to serve families from all socioeconomic circumstances. Many generous individuals and foundations contribute to tuition assistance funds and tuition assistance matching programs. These contributions make it possible for many families who otherwise could not benefit from a Catholic education.

A heartfelt “Thank You” to all who have generously supported Catholic schools and families. Thank you for your continued support.

Thank you, also, to all families who choose Catholic school to educate and nurture their children.