HONORING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS -- (House of Representatives - January 21, 2004)
Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 492) honoring the contributions of Catholic schools.
The Clerk read as follows:
H. Res. 492
Whereas America's Catholic schools are internationally acclaimed for their academic excellence, but provide students more than a superior scholastic education;
Whereas Catholic schools ensure a broad, values-added education emphasizing the lifelong development of moral, intellectual, physical, and social values in America's young people;
Whereas the total Catholic school student enrollment for the 2003-2004 academic year is 2,600,000 and the student-teacher ratio is 17 to 1;
Whereas Catholic schools teach a diverse group of students;
Whereas more than 26 percent of school children enrolled in Catholic schools are from minority backgrounds, and more than 14 percent are non-Catholics;
Whereas Catholic schools produce students strongly dedicated to their faith, values, families, and communities by providing an intellectually stimulating environment rich in spiritual, character, and moral development;
Whereas in the 1972 pastoral message concerning Catholic education, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops stated: "Education is one of the most important ways by which the Church fulfills its commitment to the dignity of the person and building of community. Community is central to education ministry, both as a necessary condition and an ardently desired goal. The educational efforts of the Church, therefore, must be directed to forming persons-in-community; for the education of the individual Christian is important not only to his solitary destiny, but also the destinies of the many communities in which he lives."; and
Whereas January 25-31, 2004, has been designated as Catholic Schools Week by the National Catholic Educational Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, an event celebrating its 30th year: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives-
(1) supports the goals of Catholic Schools Week, an event co-sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and established to recognize the vital contributions of America's thousands of Catholic elementary and secondary schools; and
(2) congratulates Catholic schools, students, parents, and teachers across the Nation for their ongoing contributions to education, and for the key role they play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for this Nation.
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Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, today, I am pleased that Congress has recognized the important role that Catholic Schools play in our community.
As a Latino, I know the important place that Catholic education has had in my district. The Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in San Bernardino, CA, is highly regarded for its academic and athletic excellence.
The San Bernardino Diocese School System under Bishop Gerald Barnes has made major investments into their school system to bring students into the 21st century.
Even though I am a strong supporter of public schools, I understand the importance of Catholic schools in our Nation's education and the values they instill in our students.
The quality of education provided at Catholic schools is truly remarkable, and deserving of high honors.
Not only do they focus on academic achievement but they also build strong moral foundations for young people. Their curriculums are often full of programs in character development and community service.
Catholic school students graduate with a wide variety of skills that will not only help them in their careers but also in their family and community life.
I am pleased to support this resolution honoring the contributions of Catholic schools.
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