Immaculate Heart of Mary School is a Catholic school. It has, therefore a specific duty. That is the complete Catholic formation of its students. All subjects must be taught in the light of the Faith. The teaching of sound Catholic doctrine must lead to the development of a true conscience and each pupil, understanding the Faith, must come to live knowingly as a child of God.
"Christ is the foundation of the whole educational enterprise in a Catholic School. He is the model which the Catholic school offers to its pupils."*
Cultural pluralism must never impinge upon the authentic teaching of a Catholic dogma. The orthodoxy of religious instruction and the practice of Catholic morals cannot yield to a relativistic, humanistic value system. The Catholic school must teach absolutes. It must teach what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil, what is virtue and what is vice. The truths of the Faith must be so firmly implanted in the minds and hearts of the faithful that they will find therein a sound criterion of judgment in the midst of conflicting concepts of behavior.
"The importance and need for catechetical instruction in a Catholic school cannot be sufficiently emphasized."
Those who have not been instructed in the Faith cannot grow to maturity in the Faith. Thus, the Catholic school must have carefully qualified teachers of religion who daily live out the Faith which they profess. The educational policy of a Catholic school cannot be imposed. It must be accepted freely by parents, teachers, students, and administrators.
"The school must be able to count on the unity of purpose and conviction of all its members."
Choosing a Catholic school does not relieve parents of their obligation to train their children in the Faith, to provide a holy and wholesome family life, and to cooperate with and support the educational and spiritual aims of the school. Parents themselves, must be obedient children of the Church, accepting freely all the authentic teachings of the Church. With clear vision, they must see our Holy Father as the Vicar of Christ and willingly submit to His authority. In conclusion, we refer you to the Student Handbook which sets forth the academic program and the rules and the guidelines for those attending Immaculate Heart of Mary School.
"We are certain that success in any venture does not come from the trust in our own solutions, but from trust in Jesus Who allowed Himself to be called Teacher. May He inspire, guide, support and bring to a safe conclusion all that is undertaken in His Name."
We have considered Immaculate Heart of Mary School as a Catholic school. Now we must consider it as a Catholic school dedicated to the Mother of God. This dedication turns our thoughts to the tabernacle wherein God is ever present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is through Our Blessed Mother's unity of mind and will with the mind and will of God that the Sacred Humanity is present among us. From the time of Adam's sin, God promised a redeemer. Back and back through the mists of the years, the faithful people of the Old Testament recalled the promise God made to them and waited the Messias. At the appropriate time, God's promise was fulfilled. The day of the Annunciation had come, the great moment of joy celebrated through the centuries as a feast, first of Our Lord, then of Our Lady, and finally of us all because the Annunciation is hope fulfilled; it is the dawn of our redemption. To fulfill the promise, God chose Mary, the perfect human being before whom the angels bow. Our Lady served God with utter charity and love, with a trust and faith that never shuddered away from His most holy Will. Mary is God's mother. She is our mother. May our lives be an imitation of hers. As it has been our privilege to dedicate our school to her, may it be our yearning to dedicate our lives to God through her. May we ever be mindful that her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, dwells with us because she who is "our life, our sweetness and our hope," in faith and love spoke the words, "Fiat mihi secundum Verbum Tuum-Let it be done unto me according to Thy Word."
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
* All quotations are taken from "The Catholic School", a document issued by
the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, March 19, 1977.