My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding
— Proverbs 2:1-2
On Monday. August 22, 2022, a wonderful and significant occasion was celebrated at St. Michael Catholic Church at 1100 North College Street, the opening of St. Michael Catholic School with a total of 64 children enrolled in our pre-K through third grade classes.
For many in our family of faith here at St. Michael Parish, it was a dream come true and the effort of prayer, study and a lot of challenging work to see this become a realization.
Of course, it had begun many years back with the opening of our Pre-K and Kindergarten Half Day Program —from there the success of a Catholic vision of education and formation began to bear wonderful fruit and success. Many of our families continued to desire to grow this unique Catholic vision of education, which is to insure the entire person is formed in the image and likeness of God.
Obviously, the Catholic Church knows something about educating the entire person in faith and reason, since she was the first to establish what we know as a liberal arts education, giving to the world founding fathers and mothers of the natural sciences and of course faithful evangelization and theological scholarship found throughout the world. So, centuries of developing and living a faith filled life in the image of God, where faith and reason are not opposed and was never meant to be opposed, is now in East Alabama.
For St. Michael Church, this is one of our primary ministries — the educating of our young people in the faith of Jesus Christ. It is who and what we are. He is the center of all our catechetical programs and our new school. Also, the new school is helping parents in their primary responsibility of educating their children both in faith and intellectually. Thus, this new school is both a gift to our faith and families.
We also see the school as a place that will form faith filled good citizens who value the intrinsic dignity of all human life and seek to promote the common good of city, county, state, nation, and world. It is one reason we believe even non-Catholics choose Catholic education for their children. We will be a better parish for starting this school and continuing our mission.
Nonetheless, we believe it also helps make our wonderful community here in Auburn and Lee County a better place. What a gift to have a school where faith, reason, wisdom, understanding and the transformation of the heart in the image and likeness of God can take place without division or opposition, but lived and expressed with mutual respect and joy. What a wonderful impact for our community.
We are already planning for next year as we prepare to add a fourth grade and in future years add an additional grade. Thanks to our parishioners and so many in our community that have helped make this possible!
The Rev. Msgr. Michael L. Farmer is a native of Prattville and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Mobile in 1995 . Prior to his appointment as pastor of St. Michael Parish, he was Rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Mobile.
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