At this point in the year, the Catholic schools are admitting students in elementary and high schools. This season of admission begins with fervor during Catholic Schools Week at the end of January. We celebrate Catholic Schools in the Diocese of San Jose to honor the legacy of the wonderful religious women and men who were the shoulders we stand on today. We all understand the great sacrifice of the religious who educated so many of us for many years and yet were not adequately compensated for that gift. Fast-forward to 2017 and we find ourselves ever grateful to those teachers while committing ourselves to continuing their work.
You are a valuable asset in that work. During Catholic Schools Week, many donors are invited by your principal and pastor to attend a reception in your honor at Archbishop Mitty School.
However, many others remain steadfast in contributing to our schools, and we do not have the opportunity to say “thank you” to you personally. Who are you and how do you contribute to our schools? There are many ways: you give to your local school, you give to the Diocesan scholarship directly, and you give to the Education appeal in September through your parish.
We would like to thank you in a special way for your contributions to the Education Appeal, which is taken up each September in your parish. In each of the past few years we have generated over $110,000 for our scholarship fund. This money is distributed across all elementary and high schools. It is part of the scholarship endowment distribution for our schools. The corpus of the funds remains steady at $3.3 million for elementary and $3.5 million for secondary. The $110,000 collected each year is added to the corpus of funds equally and then distributed through our scholarship funding program each spring to families that qualify for financial aid. Thank you for your generosity to this fund! Without your contributions to the collection our schools would be without that $110,000 additional money.
The good news is that you are so generous, the bad news is that we have over $15,000,000 in financial aid requests and this year we are only able to award a total of $502,000. As you can see, our need is greater than our ability to fund. We realize that you have many obligations and are asked to support our local Church in many ways. We do ask that you prayerfully consider how you could increase your donation to our fund so we could begin to add more to the corpus of the fund for distribution.
The cost of Catholic education is escalating because our teachers, administrators and school personnel deserve a wage that allows them to continue to live in this valley as well as to save for the future. Our parish students and families need our help in scholarship aid so they may continue to attend our Catholic schools. And so dear friends, you who have been so generous, thank you so very much. We continue to pray for you and ask that you keep us, also in your prayers, as we work together to provide a quality Catholic education for our students and their families.
Bishop Patrick J. McGrath
Kathy Almazol, Superintendent of Schools