Catholic school is more than just an education

Adam Costello has just finished up at St Margaret’s High School Airdrie. He explains why he feels blessed to have had a Catholic education.

Transire bene faciendo.

My school’s motto and a lesson for not just us Catholics but every person in the country: To go through life doing good.

My 13 years at Catholic schools have now came to an end, both at All Saints in Airdrie then my senior school at St Margaret’s High I am rather sad it is over.

Catholic schools are quite rightly the pride of our Church in Scotland and now more than ever we need to treasure them. For me they have been a place of tolerance, charity, and real Faith.

It is where we are given the chance that others do not have. To go out in our communities, using our Faith to truly do good.

We produce pupils worthy of the Faith, worthy of their mottos and worthy of the saints that are their patrons. We produce doctors, teachers, athletes and writers.

It is something that is wonderful to see, something we should continue to nourish.

Sadly lots of people don’t see this, like a candidate for the local elections who said Catholic schools are a factory for bigotry and that we live in a society that pushes back against religious freedom more and more.

The stereotype of a breeding ground of hate and religious bigotry could not be more wrong, they are a place of love, hope, and opportunity. It is where children of all backgrounds can come together and be taught in a community with Catholic ethos.

That Catholic ethos for me was highlighted more than ever when two schools, communities and pupils came together through football to do good.

‘United in Faith’, we got sponsorships, guest appearances and raised £1,000 for local charity. This was done by young Catholic men in Airdrie and Coatbridge and was a beautiful sign of a simple yet effective way to use our shared Faith for the common good.

Personally, the most important part for me has been the friendships that I found at school and the experiences we shared. Doing the Caritas Award was a great example as it allowed me and my friends to come together through Faith.

At times we think of our religion as a boring thing but this changed all that, it gave a completely different aspect to life in the Church and doing so with your friends makes it all that bit more enjoyable.

I have been blessed with great chaplains both at primary and high school with Fr Hughes, Fr Breslin and Fr Delaney who have all connected with the pupils showing themselves as not just the priest we see at the weekend but someone who is a part of our everyday lives and our education.

A moment that I will never forget is just before we left I was told that this is not the end but merely the beginning of our journey and to take the Faith with me.

That’s what Catholic schools need to instil in every pupil: Take that Faith with you, embrace it, share it and use it in your future life.

Hold dear what those before you had treasured and pass our beautiful Faith on to the next generation.

Catholic school has been a wonderful experience, one that I would not change, results that not only go against the norms, but exceed them, and schools that produce pupils that truly do go through life doing good.

May Almighty God bless us, commend us and provide for us as we enter into the next part of our journey to serve Him.

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