Dear Friends in the Lord,
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the mother of Catholic Schools in America, understood the power of humility. “The gate of heaven is very low,” she said, “only the humble can enter it.”
It is with suitable trepidation, then, that I report on the 2018-19 Archdiocesan school year. Indeed, to be safe, I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves.
For the fifth consecutive school year, test scores for archdiocesan pupils were up, thanks to the enormous dedication of our principals, faculty, staff, priests, parents, and benefactors. Our children continue to academically outpace students in New York public schools, including as those in most charter schools. Just as important, we have also seen significant improvement in religious exam scores.
These advancements did not occur by accident. Our continued investment in special education, state-of-the-art pedagogical technologies, and individualized curricula is reaping demonstrable successes. In fact, 99% of our high school students graduated in 2018-19, and 98% were accepted into college.
Our approach to 21st Century education — combining a rigorous academic curriculum with one-child-at-a-time instruction — represents just half the equation, though. For it is not only minds we seek to foster within Archdiocesan classrooms, but hearts and souls as well. Ours must be a values-based education that lasts a lifetime.
Never before has a spiritual foundation been more important for an emerging generation. Our children face new and unprecedented challenges in an increasingly secular, competitive, and seemingly rudderless world. They must be given the tools to succeed professionally, but also to know right from wrong. Without the latter, material success would be meaningless.
We remain confident that the strong academic and spiritual foundation we are providing students of all backgrounds and walks of life will serve to attract additional children to our classrooms for years to come. God’s doors are open to all.
It is a blessing to report that our Catholic school system is succeeding in its mission, one child at a time, humbly conscious that there is always more to do. None of this would be possible without your generosity, love, and devotion to the Church and the families She serves.
With prayerful wishes, I remain,
Faithfully in Christ,
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York