Msgr. Livingston Essays

How I Believe my Catholic Education will Benefit me in Life

By:  Molly Rickey, Class of 2018

Pope Benedict XVI once said, " A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person.  And a good Catholic School, over and above this, should help all its students become saints."  I think he was saying that not only do Catholic Schools provide a good education but also they teach us how to become saints.  I believe my Catholic education will make me a better person.  Hopefully it will make me a saint!  How?  Well, I have role models who guide me, including my teachers, my parents, my friends, and my friends' parents.  I have continuous spiritual help and I have God who saves me.

Catholic education benefits me because it makes me happy and makes me a better person.  When I am at school learning about Jesus, I often get this urge to do something for someone else.  That is why Chrisitans love to help others because it makes them happy and it is what Jesus has asked us to do in His name.  At St. Vincent de Paul, my whole grade got the opportunity to go to Sophia's Kitchen, where volunteers prepare food for those who are hungry and thirsty.  When I went to Sophia's Kitchen, with my class and with my grandma, I was overwhelmed by how happy and thankful the people were.  Helping these people proved to me that even the smallest act of kindness can bring happiness into someone's life.

My role model is Mother Teresa because she always did what was best for others and she loved every person she met.  She guides me through my life and helps me beccome closer to God.  I would have never known about Mother Teresa if it weren't for my Catholic education.  The first time I heard about Mother Teresa was in seventh grade when we had to choose our confirmation saint.  Everything about her life fascinated me, especially how she chose to work with the "poorest of the poor."  She continued to serve the poor in India even after she survived two heart attacks.  I picked Mother Teresa as my confirmation saint and I hope to be like her one day.  This goal is all thanks to my Catholic education.

My parents, friends, and my family have helped me to become a better person.  They make me who I am today, but I learned at school that there is something stronger that will help me and that is God's grace.  His grace has allowed me to forgive others, make sacrifices for those I love, and stay calm in difficult situations.  One difficult situation I have been in was when my class was at Adoration.  It was a Tuesday and after my class finished our Adoration session I was asked by my teacher to stay because you can't leave Jesus alone.  I told her that I would.  So I went back in my pew and waited for her to come back with another class.  All of a sudden I heard the tornado sirens so I jumped out of my pew and started walking out of Church.  Then it hit me that God is there and He will protect me, so I went back to my pew and knelt and prayed to God that everything would be okay.  I heard the door open and it was my teacher with another class ans she said I can leave.  Then I asked her why she was walking over here when the tornado sirens were going off.  She reminded me that it was the first Tuesday of the month.  I started laughing and thanked God for keeping me safe.  I think that God was trying to tell me not to worry and to remember that He is always with me.

The sacraments have given me grace too.  That is why I can't wait to be confirmed because I will accept the Holy Spirit, who will continue to guide me in life.  St. Vincent School has provided me with so many graces, but confirmation will be among the most positive experiences.  By receiving this grace, I hope to be a better person.  And with the Spirit's continued guidance, I can truly serve as Mother Teresa did.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones because I have had the pleasure of knowing God my whole life.  Therefore, I know that God saves me from evil.  That is why I already made the choice of going to heaven so that I can spend the rest of my life with God.  My Catholic education has helped me to make this decision because it has shown me and proved to me that God would do anything for me because He loves me.  He saves me from temptation and helps me choose positive actions.  He is always there for me in times of darkness.  God saves all of us because He loves us.

My Catholic education has helped me throughout my years at St. Vincent and I know that it will continue at Peoria Notre Dame.  By continuing to grow in my faith, I can become a better person and help those in need.  My goal in life is to do what God is calling me to do.  Whatever that may be, I know that I have Mother Teresa and my family and friends to help me on my life journey.  And my Catholic education at St. Vincent and at Peoria Notre Dame will help  me sort out the various opportunities for service that are available to those who know and love God. 



By:  Chris Tierro, Class of 2017

What do you strive for in life:  money, fame, or even power?  How about God and a Catholic education?  One famous quote from Pope Benedict XVI states:  " A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person.  And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all it's students become saints."  These are my aspirations.

Education at Catholic schools has many benefits.  It teaches me the importantce of my role within my family, the community, and in the Church.  It also teachers me to show mercy and to be forgiving of others.  Catholic school empasize the value of strict self-discipline and commitment.  It allows me to grow in a more spiritual, moral, and religious aspect, always putting God first.  The teachings give me a stronger doctrine of religion, shows me how to practice my faith in everyday life, and to do what is right.  Community service is encouraged at Catholic schools to help learn the value of service and to participate in the community.  It teaches me to set goals not only to benefit myself but to benefit others, especially those in need.  In my own life, I have volunteered many hours of community service to my church, in Boy Scout projects, and in my community.  I also volunteered my time to counsel kids at a Christian summer camp.

There are mnay other ways that a strong Catholic education would benefit my life, such as providing me a higher standard of academics, a values-added education, and a safe school environment.  Studies have shown that academic test scores at Catholic schools, including Peoria Notre Dame, are consistently higher than public schools.  The graduation rate at most Catholic high schools is at least 98%.  After graduation, more than 98% of students who graduate go on to attend college or pursue higher education.  My personal endeavor after completing high school is to attend a military academy.  This will help me to achieve my lifelong goals and to serve as a "soldier" of the Catholic Church.  Another benefit attending Catholic schools are the passionate teachers.  They go above and beyond the education system that's required at school, making it a part of their personal mission and ministry.  They also help to bring out the best in students and act as a role model as they share their faith, strengths, talents, and time.  I have learned many valuable lessons from my Catholic teachers at St. Vincent de Paul School, things I will always remember and carry with me throughtout my life.

I have been blessed to receive a Catholic education at St. Vincent de Paul School for over 9 years and it has provided me the opportunity to have a Christian education that children in public schools don't get.  I have benefited from the values and faith based teachings that have helped to form me into the strong Christian person I am today.  Although my journey at St. Vincent de Paul School is coming to an end soon, I am looking forward to continue my Catholic education at Peoria Notre Dame to further enhance my knowledge about the Catholic faith.






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