Discover the Difference: Thank You!

by Diocese of Des Moines | February 4, 2021

Children from Shelby County Catholic School

Catholic education is a ministry and an extension of the good work we do within our parish communities to grow future generations of the faithful. As Pope Francis declared, "The most effective way to overcome the temptation to give in to harmful lifestyles is by investing in education. Education will also help to overcome a widespread mentality of injustice and violence, as well as ethnic divisions. The greatest need is for a model of education which teaches the young to think critically and encourages growth in moral values," (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 64).

This is what you do everyday. You invest yourself in the education of our young people. As we enter thisnull joyous week celebrating Catholic education, we want to take a moment to recognize the sacrifice, energy and grace each of you provides to ensure young students across the Diocese of Des Moines receive a quality education rooted in Catholic faith. Our 16 schools are not only possible, but are successful because of your commitment to Catholic education.

To our priests and religious leaders…

Catholic schools benefit all year long from the religious guidance, prayers and support parishes and priests provide. Catholic faith is the bedrock on which our schools were built. We thank you for being leaders of Catholic faith and for promoting a relationship with Christ that teaches our students how to live the Gospel through love and service to others.

To our school administrators…

By being a positive role model for your faculty, staff and students, you demonstrate the mission of servant leadership each and every day. Thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure the vitality of our Catholic schools through academic success, enrollment growth and innovation.

To our faculty, staff and volunteers…

As an educator, you are the backbone of our Catholic schools. Every day you give the gift of a quality education in a Christ-centered environment. The impact of this gift is life-changing and ever-lasting for the students you encounter. You provide a nurturing, caring, and safe environment for our young people to develop their God-given talents. Because of you, our students grow in faith and wisdom and emerge as responsible citizens dedicated to the practice of life-long discipleship. We humbly thank you for accepting this most important vocation and for the value you bring to society.

To our generous donors and financial supporters…

As a friend of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Des Moines, we thank you for making a Catholic education possible for our more than 6,100 students. Your generosity strengthens our schools and supports our commitment to providing families with an affordable Catholic education. We thank you for your support.

To our school families…

We celebrate the contributions of families to the success of our schools. Parents are the primary educators of their children and we value this partnership in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. Additionally, the financial sacrifice you make to provide your children with a Catholic education is no small feat. Thank you for investing in Catholic education and entrusting our schools with helping to form your children in faith, knowledge and service.

In closing, we want to share the following prayer.

God of All Good Things, Bless all our priests, parishes, administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers, donors, school families and students with your grace and presence during Catholic Schools Week. Help us to see you in our work and give us the grace to acknowledge how this work has shaped us. As we celebrate the ministry of Catholic education in a special way, give us strength, courage, and wisdom as we lead our students to be what you have called them to be. Amen.

Ss. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Albert, Thomas Aquinas, John Bosco, and Katherine Drexel, pray for us!

Have a very blessed Catholic Schools Week!

Faithfully in Christ,

Most Rev. William M. Joensen, Ph.D.

Donna Bishop, Superintendent of Catholic Schools

Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.