Scott Warden
September 13, 2023 // Perspective

A Salute to the Noble Work of Catholic School Teachers

Scott Warden

I have been married to my wife for 22 years, and for each of those 22 years, I’ve worked as a journalist in some capacity or another. Whether it was the nearly 15 years I spent in the secular media or the almost 10 in Catholic media, whether I’ve been a writer or an editor, I’ve always seen it as important work. A mentor of mine who could turn a phrase with the best once called journalism “a noble profession … perhaps the most noble after archer.” While it’s not near the truth, I always liked the phrase.

My wife, on the other hand, is a teacher. After graduating from college just before we were married, she immediately began teaching at St. Louis Besancon, the parish where she was raised, where we were married, and, later, where are oldest children were baptized – also, as of recently, the parish to which we’ve returned. Like me, though, she’s spent chunks of her career working in and out of the Church.

But that’s where the similarities ended, as far as our careers have gone. When we left for work in the morning, Erin went her way, and I went mine. As Rudyard Kipling wrote, “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

Until recently.

On Thursday, September 7, she and the rest of the teachers at St. Vincent de Paul School in Fort Wayne – and all other teachers, faculty, and staff from all the Catholic schools on the south end of the diocese – gathered at Bishop Dwenger High School for Catholic School Mission Day. And in my new role as editor of Today’s Catholic, my first assignment in the field was to report on the event.

As I was parking, I felt my phone buzz – a text from my wife. “Right side, second row from the back,” it said. She saved me a seat.

It was a good thing, too, because the gym at Dwenger was packed as we listened first to Father Agustino Torres, a well-known Franciscan Friar of the Renewal, talk about the vital role Catholic teachers play in passing on not only the knowledge their students need to succeed academically, but also how necessary it is for them to share their love of God and their passion for the Faith.

In his homily during Mass at Bishop Dwenger, Bishop Rhoades reiterated this sacred mission of Catholic teachers, lifting up Mary, Seat of Wisdom, as an example for all who work in Catholic education. It is Mary, he said, who “teaches us teachers to share [the truth of her Son] with our students through our words and example.” Sharing the mystery of the Word made flesh, Bishop Rhoades added, “is our central conviction as Catholic school educators. It is only in Christ that we discover our incomparable dignity, our vocation, our ultimate fulfillment as human beings, and eternal joy and peace.”

What profession can be more important? Not a journalist, certainly – nor even an archer. And for 22 years, it’s been an honor to sit next to my wife and watch her and her colleagues do the most noble of work.

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