Catholic Schools prepare ‘good soil’ for faith to grow

Laura Keener, Editor.

The annual national Catholic Schools Week celebration was held Jan. 26—Feb. 1. In the Diocese of Covington, schools held daily celebrations, recognizing the contributions that everyone — students, faculty, administrators, parents, volunteers — make to the success of Catholic schools.

Bishop Roger Foys celebrated Mass, Jan. 30, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, for the diocesan recognition of Catholic Schools Week. Student representatives from the nine Catholic high schools and 30 elementary schools in the Diocese of Covington attended.

In his homily, Bishop Foys said the parable of the “Sower and the Seeds” in the day’s Gospel is unique in that Jesus himself explains the significance of the soil, offering an opportunity for him to focus on another important aspect of the parable — what makes soil “good” so that it bears fruit.

“The sower represents the Lord and the seed is the word of God,” Bishop Foys said. The fact that the seed is scattered with abandon demonstrates that God, “makes his Word available to everyone. No one is excluded from the Lord,” Bishop Foys said. “There is nothing any of us can do to earn God’s love, he puts that out to us and he is very generous. It is the response of those who are given the word where the difficulty lies.”

Bishop Foys said there are three things necessary for God’s word to bear fruit. First it has to be heard.

“To hear the Word means we have to free ourselves from distractions,” he said.

The second component that makes good soil is that it has to “receive” God’s Word.

“So much of what we hear bounces off of us. Some parts of the Gospel are difficult because the Lord makes some demands on us and we resist those — it’s like a reflex … it causes us to flinch because it means we are going to have to do something or quit doing something.”

The third characteristic necessary for God’s Word to bear fruit is, “We are called to action. If the Word of God makes any kind of difference in our heart, our soul or our life then we have to act on it. We have to be what St. James calls ‘do-oers’ of the Word and not just hearers.”

Preparing the soil so that God’s Word can bear fruit is “what Catholic Schools do,” Bishop Foys said.

“Catholic schools prepare students to hear the Word of God, to receive the Word and to act on it. We have to be formators and not just educators, to build a foundation on which students can build the rest of your life,” he said.