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Hello and welcome to NOLA Catholic Parenting podcasts. NOLA Catholic Parenting podcasts are a natural progression of our weekly column in the Clarion Herald and our three-times-a week blog written by Catholic moms and dads who are raising their children in our faith. The podcasts will share our thoughts, experiences and challenges as Catholic parents every other week at and Thanks for listening. If you have a topic you would like covered, please email

Mar 3, 2020

Podcast#12 Catholic education (13:20 total running time without intro and exit music)


:05 – Christine mentioned the 46th annual Catholic Schools week celebration held nationwide in late January, with a local Archdiocese of New Orleans Catholic schools Mass Jan. 31 at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Metairie. The national 2020 theme of learn, serve, lead and succeed describes what Catholic schools do.

1:00 – Dr. RaeNell Houston is grateful to have Archbishop Aymond celebrate Mass annually. “He makes it a priority. He truly values and embraces the young church.“

1:25 – Dr. Houston said the Mass’ significance is we don’t have a lot of opportunities to celebrate Catholic schools with students from different schools all in one place. Coming together to see that they are part of the larger part of the ministry of Catholic schools in New Orleans. It gives students a different perspective seeing all these others students. Their efforts along with all schools in archdiocese make a big impact.

2:05 – Dr. Houston has been involved in Catholic school education for than 20 years.

2:15 – Dr. Houston used the themes of 2020 Catholic Schools Week in a recent Clarion Herald column. And said we should believe in Catholic schools because of what they offer. There is rigorous learning, achievement of students evidented in many ways – ACT scores, standardized test scores, National Merit finalists, winners of arts and music, service (more than 400,000 service hours annually by Catholic high school students that impact local communities), state athletic championships. Students are succeeding in academics, sports and faith formation.”

3:45 – Christine asked about servant leadership that starts at a young age and service hours. Gaby remembers doing service hours during the summertime. She went to senior homes and realized the difference she was making in the community through service hours. You have a purpose.

5:11 – Ana Borden sent her four children and she and her husband attended Catholic schools. “It was a gift from our parents to us.” She looks at Catholic schools as not only being strong academically but also looking at her kids as person as a whole as God’s children to put her children in healthy, happy environment where they would thrive and to have a community sense – church or choir and teachers looking out for her kids as their own.

6:00 – Gaby went to Catholic schools her whole life, but said she moved to New Orleans a few months before her son started kindergarten. She chose a school that had a welcoming environment. “My son has never been happier. He loves going to school.” I am at peace.

6:55 – Christine asked how important is the emphasis on morals and being with like-minded people. Ana said it’s critical in today’s age. Amazing they are having the extension of home life at school – faith and trust in God is first and foremost.

7:25 – Ana said when society is saying God isn’t important, it is refreshing to be around like-mind parents and knowing children are with like-minded children.

7:45 – Dr. Houston chimed in that a number of students in Catholic schools are not Catholic but their parents are Christians and value Christian values

8:15 – Dr. Houston talked about the strides that Catholic schools have made to educate children with learning differences. She’s most proud of the progress of giving students with learning differences a home in Catholic schools. Her daughter is 12, in 6th grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) in Belle Chasse. She is part of an inclusion program to help her succeed and given opportunities to engage with her peers. OLPH’s Gospel value is empathy this year. This ties into the inclusion piece. Her classmates embrace her, knowing she is created in the likeness and image of God just like everyone else in school. Have CORE Pack program at St. Paul’s. Other students invited a student with special needs in this program to an athletic game. Also have blended learning for students with learning differences or who need a little more attention in 11 Catholic schools.

11:50 – It’s been so successful, said Dr. Houston, that the Office of Catholic Schools is offering a symposium in March on blended learning with 40 educators from across the country attending learning from what our archdiocese is doing.

12:20 – Registration is open for new students in Catholic schools as are tours and spend-a-days exist to determine if the school is a right fit.

13:00 – What a gift we have in our Catholic Schools.