To the Editor:
It is with great disappointment that I read Fr. Joseph Creedon's letter to the editor in the December 20th issue of the Rhode Island Catholic.
As a teacher in a Catholic school, I take offense at being accused of "watering down" the faith of our students. At our school, we celebrate the season of Advent by helping out students to become sensitive to the needs of others in our community by preparing and delivering over 100 food baskets to local families; by visiting our elderly and shut-ins; by conducting prayer services for a Day of Peace on December 7, plus numerous other activities.
Personally, in my religion classes, we begin each class during Advent with a special Advent prayer while lighting our classroom Advent wreath. Yes,we do have two Christmas concerts to help showcase the talents of our musicians and singers, but that is part of the total picture of our Advent season which blends in nicely with the theme of Christmas and the spirit of giving, which to my recollection, is what the infant Jesus is all about.
Catholic schools are not a "shelter from the real world," but a place to help students prepare themselves to live in our modern world, despite its secular culture. Our Catholic schools allow us to blend our faith and the season of Advent with the rest of society's preparation for Christmas.
As a Catholic school educator, it is my obligation to prepare my students to be able to live in a secular world with a strong faith and moral values. The two worlds cannot be separated!
I would invite Fr Creedon to visit any one of our Catholic elementary or secondary schools in the diocese to witness firsthand what our schools are doing to help sensitize our young people to the needs of others while trying to bring them to a better understanding of their faith. And I commend the Rhode Island Catholic for its new and improved style of reporting the activities and events around the diocese, especially the ministry being performed in our Catholic schools. It is obvious that the Rhode Island Catholic strongly believes in the mission of Catholic education. Thank you!
Br. Clifford M King S.C.
Brothers of the Sacred Heart