Everyday Evangelization: Students become the teachers

These are two more stories in our series about Catholic schools as centers of evangelization.

“My huband’s faith and involvement has strengthened the most as our kids have entered school. He was raised Catholic and attended Creighton University but as he started his career, he moved for jobs a couple times each year, so he never took the time to find a parish. After we got married, he took a position that would allow us to reside in Omaha and he started attending Mass more regularly with me. As our children were born, attending Mass each week became more important to him, and as they entered school, he has become involved in many many areas of the school and parish. Mine is a family of old school Catholic upbringing…more of a tradition to family and church. My grandparents were charter members of St. Thomas More, my parents both attended St. Thomas More, my three siblings and I attended St. Thomas More, and we’re all active members today.”

– Michelle Arlen, Omaha

“Seeing Ava’s beautiful smile when we tell her it’s time to go to school has strengthened our faith. She lights up when she talks about Jesus and all of the wonderful things she learns at school. Her love for Jesus is easy to see and radiates from her. We will never forget the night before bed she taught us a prayer she learned at school, “Holy Spirit show us the way, to all we think, do and say.” We were humbled when our daughter became the teacher that night… through her faith and love for Jesus, our faith also grows stronger.”

– Thomas and Mary Blechschmidt, Omaha

“For our family, St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) has transformed our lives in only the most positive ways, all of which started with enrolling our two daughters in the school. Prior to enrolling our middle daughter (now a 7th-grader), our family had been away from the church for far too long. We were also struggling to find a community and a school that was the right fit for her. We have three daughters, one in college and two enrolled now at the SVDP school and without question, it has been the single-greatest blessing our family has received. Dr. Marchese and the school, along with the entire SVDP community welcomed us with open arms like we’ve never experienced before.  I personally enrolled in the RCIA program, with my wife as my sponsor which was the experience that catapulted our faith journey that we all live today. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay on as a team member of the RCIA program going on my 4th year, currently entering my 2nd year sitting on the SVDP Parish Council and also dedicate time to helping the parish social media team as we continue to grow our community through the changing communication landscape. My wife volunteers and helps run the used uniform program at the school and our girls (7th grader and 2nd grader) are involved in a host of activities on both the school and parish side. We enjoyed our youngest daughters first communion just this past weekend. Our lives now revolve around SVDP in so many different and amazing ways for each member of our family, it’s truly been a transformative experience for us and none of it would have happened had it not been for the enrollment and continued involvement with the school.  It’s difficult to imagine where we would be today without this school and community.  It’s a thought we can’t, nor do we want to even comprehend.”

-The Cort Irish Family


Do you have your own testimony to share? Email Bbonczynski@archomaha.org.