This popular phrase “All Are Welcome” can be found in many Catholic schools and on many web pages and printed materials. We even sing the song, written by Marty Haugen, All Are Welcome, at many of our masses. It is a great song, with nice words, but when we think about it in the context of welcoming all learners into our Catholic schools, the words ring hollow.
I recently completed the Program for Inclusive Education through the University of Notre Dame. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done! It was demanding, rigorous, took hours and hours of my time and energy, and yet, completing the program and learning about inclusion is one of the most rewarding accomplishments of my life.
The call for inclusion is not just focused on St. Patrick School. It is a universal call to all Catholic schools made by Pope Francis, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, the National Catholic Educational Association, The National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion, and most importantly, Jesus Christ.
It is our hope that at St. Pat’s, we will welcome all children because every child is a gift from God, every child has unique gifts and talents to share, every child enriches our school community. Our faculty is ready, our children are ready, our hearts are ready to be an Inclusive Catholic School. In Haugen’s words: “let us build a house where love can dwell…”
Leave a Reply