What made Holy Family parish/school where you want to raise your family?
There are many great options in the North Shore — public and private schools — including Catholic schools. We have four Catholic schools in a very small radius, so there are lots of choices there. I had cousins that went to St. Robert, Holy Family and St. Monica, so I’d seen them a little bit from a distance, but then we moved to the North Shore. I have a lot of family on that side. So we moved for family, but also to go to Holy Family. From a distance, that seemed like the community we were looking for. All of those schools are great. They check the box for why you want to be involved in it or send your kids to a Catholic school in the first place. But what really clicked for us was the community that Holy Family has. It’s smaller than a couple of the other schools, but it’s a tight-knit community. It is really warm and welcoming. We’ve been very pleased being at Holy Family.
What makes Catholic education so important?
From a very early age, you know, the Catholic faith was instilled by my parents, by my broader family. I look at (my education) as an investment. I have three younger brothers. (My parents) sacrificed to send all four of us to Catholic elementary school and high school, and then all of us ended up going to Catholic universities, as well. Not everyone in the Catholic faith decides to send their kids to a Catholic school. So I’m very thankful that they did. I had tremendous role models — my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles — who showed the value of Catholic education and why it’s important. I had a great experience all the way through.
Did your experience with Catholic schools help you decide you wanted that for your children?
That was something that I knew I always wanted. Obviously, Catholic schools are a great way to learn about the Catholic faith and Catholic teaching. Of course, you can get that kind of teaching or instruction from your parents or Sunday school, but for me, where Catholic education really goes over the top is it’s not just about learning the Catholic faith but being immersed in an environment where those values are taught and reinforced every day. (It’s) not just learning about the faith and what we believe but encouraging our kids to live that life and live it daily. Being kind and caring to others gets reinforced. Being able to pray in the school, in good times and in bad — it’s so nice to have that.
Which teachers and lessons have stayed with you since you graduated?
I certainly had a lot of great teachers throughout the years, but I think the thread that tied them all together and what was so great about it was that teachers at Catholic schools care about the students so much. They care about the families. They care about the students, not just academically but as a person, and on the whole, they want to see you succeed. They genuinely care for your well-being.
What inspires you to volunteer so much at Holy Family? Do you see a lot of people pitching in?
It’s a community that keeps it all moving, keeps it going, because there are a lot of uphill battles for a Catholic school to survive — just the costs of everything. Catholic schools can’t survive without people helping out. So, it’s just part of the deal, and certainly, there are different levels of involvement, but everyone at the school will be involved in some way or another. There are a lot of challenges, but when you have a lot of committed people who share the same goal and are rowing in the right direction, you get people who are going to help out that way.
Your children now attend Catholic school. How do you see the value of Catholic schools for the next generation?
I wanted them to go to Holy Family. We made that choice for them. They’re too little to make that decision. To have them come home and talk about how much they enjoy the school, how much they love being part of that community, how great their teachers are, how important learning about the faith and how to pray is, that’s where it really feels good because it’s not something I’m forcing on my kids. We made the decision, but they also see the benefits at a very young age. It’s so nice to see them having such a great experience at the school. Whether or not they know it, they’re seeing the value of being at a Catholic school, and specifically, Holy Family.