My Catholic School Education
I am not Catholic. However, I attended a Catholic High School in New Orleans. I am a graduate of Xavier Preparatory High School class of 1993. I thank God that my parents sacrificed to send me to a Catholic school because of its spiritual foundation, safe environment and family atmosphere. I want the same for my kids, and that is why they are attending St. Peter Claver Catholic School in Treme.
Xavier Prep taught me a sense of respect, responsibility and assertiveness. The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and faculty of Xavier Prep produced and still generate leaders. I still remember some of the words from Sister Grace, my freshman religion teacher: “Where you go, your purse goes.” I still follow that today. “Once a diamond, always a diamond even if you fall in the mud.” Our principal Sister Eileen Sullivan was dedicated to the school and the welfare of every girl in that school.
My Childrens’ Catholic School Education
We are a praying family, and we believe in the power of prayer. My kids have the opportunity to serve God freely at school without being ridiculed. We pray together as a family everyday on the way to school, and it is comforting for me to know that they will pray throughout the day. I like that they are always reminded of the moral and values I try to instill in them at home. In addition, they are learning Afro-centric traditions.
Kids are kids no matter where they attend school, but our experience at St. Peter Claver has been overwhelmingly positive. Our Pastor Antoine Barrierre has worked with the late Fr. Michael Jacques, which makes it feel even more like home.
My desire is for my son to attend St. Augustine for his high school career. My father is a 1969 graduate and my brother in 2005. I want him to experience the Josephine brotherhood and become more assertive as a young man. I know that St. Augustine will give him those opportunities.
Catholic Schools in New Orleans
I am in constant prayer for the existence of our Catholic schools in New Orleans. They have done such a great service for our students and families in our communities. I pray that more men chose priesthood and women desire to serve as nuns to ensure the existence of Catholic schools. They are the reason why Catholic schools have been so strong for hundreds of years throughout the New Orleans area.
Are you a non-Catholic considering Catholic school education for your children? Why or why not?
A special thank you to the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sponsoring this fun one day series “Where’d ya go to school?” to open the conversation about school choice and tradition here in New Orleans.
About Joell Lee
Joell Lee is a native New Orleans area. A mother of two, she attended Xavier University Preparatory School of New Orleans.