Catholic high schools: Grounded in faith and committed to academic excellence

By Pamela Lyons

I am so proud of the strong Catholic communities, innovative educational programs and dedicated people we find at each of the schools represented in this issue of Catholic San Francisco magazine. If you are new to Catholic education, you may be wondering what is it that separates the Catholic high schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco from the many other schools in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo. You may be asking yourself, why Catholic school?

When a student enters one of our Catholic high schools, they are treated as one of God’s beloved children, created in His image and likeness, and as such, inherently good. In other words, all of our students are beloved because they are created by God. Catholic high schools create educational opportunities that not only address the intellect, but of equal importance, the spiritual, moral and social aspects of every student. We recognize the importance of academic excellence and are diligent about ensuring that our students receive an education on par with, and in most cases, an education that greatly surpasses other local public and private institutions. The difference lies in our pursuit of academic excellence as a pathway to a greater good. Our curriculum is rooted in the Gospels that inspire a love of learning and the intellectual pursuit of the truth. I always tell our teachers that we are educating our students to change the world, by contributing to the Kingdom of God on earth, with their ultimate goal being entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

Never have our schools been clearer in their purpose of furthering the mission of the Church, by ensuring that our schools are truly grounded in the Catholic faith and committed to academic excellence, cultivating the virtuous life, nurturing a Christian community and nourishing a Catholic worldview. This school year, more than 8,200 students attend Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. We welcome those members of our community who are not currently attending a school in the Archdiocese to visit a Catholic school and experience for yourself all they have to offer. Join us in our mission to grow our students’ understanding that they are God’s beloved so they may fully realize God’s plan for them.

Pamela Lyons is the superintendent of the Department of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.