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Catholic education: The best investment

March 6, 2015
Msgr. Adolfo Valdivia

When I was asked by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to help him in his ministry at the parish of St Anthony Padua, I somehow had an idea on the pastoral and financial accomplishments made by the people of God guided by the Franciscan friars for over a century. Franciscan Father Guiglielmo Lauriola is still going strong as the only Franciscan friar. He was ordained as a priest when I was 1 year old. I thank Father William for his ministry and for strongly supporting Catholic schools.

I inherited a parish pastorally and financially very different than a century ago.

Pastorally speaking, to have ministered at this parish for more then six months has opened a corner in my “Mexican heart.” I have truly appreciated the cultural and religious diversity of those people who make up this faith community.

I shall continue with the same spirit until I go back to Mexico this July 1.

Something that has been of a challenge is our Catholic school. I am the product of Catholic education. Thanks to the priest from my village, I was able to get a scholarship to finish fifth and six grades before I entered the seminary at the age of 13.

Having a Catholic school here at St. Anthony has been a “worthy challenge and experience.” I totally and unconditionally support Catholic Schools because of the quality of academic formation and teachings the children receive on our Catholic values.

Personally, I have enjoyed visiting the children in their classrooms, playing sports with the eighth graders and most of all bringing the children to the table of the Lord and providing for them the word and the body and blood of Jesus.

I know our Catholic school is financially struggling because of the low number of students; by the way we have lots of room for your children. The low number reflects on the finances yet we have people who are very generous and the parents themselves make big sacrifices to pay for the tuition. I hope anyone who is reading this article may have a generous heart and help us help financially speaking our children. Please give me a call.

Recently our archbishop said that a challenge is to “get” the Hispanic population of the archdiocese to enroll their children in our Catholic schools. I hope the Hispanic people who are reading this article may consider our Catholic schools for this year and for the future. We are here for you and for your children. We want to help you get the best Catholic education.

Msgr. Valdivia is administrator of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, San Francisco. The parish phone number is (415) 647-2704.

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