Everyday Evangelization: Columbus Catholic Schools are a “gift” and “blessing”

Five families from Columbus, Nebraska share with us what Catholic school means to them below. You can also read more stories from our series about how Catholic schools impact families.

St. Anthony’s brought hope
St. Anthony School brought hope back to my kids. Hope that teachers DO care. My kids (the two oldest) hated school and it was a fight every morning. Since we started at St. Anthony, they actually look forward to going to school. My first grader told me that he enjoys the activities that encourage the involvement of the whole school. He said it makes him feel like he is part of a big family.”
– Erika Almazon, mother of a preschooler, 1st, 4th and 6th grader at St. Anthony in Columbus, NE

Catholic education was a gift
My husband and I were unsure about where we wanted to send our children to school. We don’t live in Columbus and at the time, we were not members of St. Anthony. We had attended church there several times and decided one day to just check out their school. We were blown away by their hospitality, how welcoming they made us feel and could tell they really loved God, loved our children and loved their jobs. We are so grateful to God that He gave us the gift of St. Anthony and that it is now OUR school–and now parish, too!
-Tori Oehlrich, mother of a 1st and 3rd grader

Catholic school is a blessing
The meaning and impact of Catholic school in my family can be described in one word: Blessing! I have never seen a school that has such a big heart. It is a school where I know my child is cared for and protected. He is taught not only school subjects, but the importance of prayer, faith, and the significance of caring for one another. The staff is outstanding! The class size is perfect! Each student is known by name. My family could not ask for anything better. A story comes to mind to demonstrate: My son came home one day and told me he chose to go to adoration instead of recess! We are blessed!
-Julie Urkoski, mother of a 1st grader and incoming kindergartener

Catholic school is a family
To me, our Catholic School means family. Our school is so close knit that it really is another family to us. When my kids talk about other students, I don’t even have to ask who they’re talking about, because I know all the kids’ names myself. Our school may be small, but our school is mighty! And the family atmosphere we have, I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Love our school, an I know the boys love it, too!
– Theresa Boesch, mother of 2nd and 4th grade students, Columbus, NE

Shamrock Nation is Strong!
Being part of the Shamrock nation has been a tradition in our family for many years. My mom attended Scotus, and I was so excited about going to school there too. Then, both of our children graduated from Scotus. When I think of going to school there, the first thing that I think of is opportunity. Scotus Central Catholic not only challenged me academically to be the best student that I could be, but it also gave me the experiences that I needed to grow in my faith and find ways to serve the Lord using my talents. Scotus provided me with many leadership opportunities in the many different activities that I was involved in. The teachers and sponsors had high expectations for us, and they wanted us to do well. They guided us, and then, when it was time, they let us fly. During my high school days, I remember thinking this is where I want to be some day – back in the same school system that educated me and helped me grow in my faith. Scotus helped me to see and understand that God had a very special plan for me, and it was my job to trust in that plan wherever it may lead me. Now, I am back at Scotus helping coach cross country and helping students to believe in themselves and trust in God’s plans for them. Hopefully, the young men and women that I work with can see by my example the importance of living what you believe and understand how important it is not to take the gift of a Catholic education for granted. The impact that attending Scotus has had on our family has lead us to set up a memorial scholarship in memory of our children’s grandparents. We want the gift of a Scotus education to continue for years to come!
-Amy Sokol, St. Anthony School Principal and alum of Columbus Scotus High School

For more information about these two schools and others in Columbus, visit the following websites:

http://www.sta.esu7.org/ – St. Anthony School
https://scotuscc.org/ – Scotus Central Catholic
http://school.stboncc.com/ – St. Bonaventure School
http://www.sti.esu7.org/Welcome.html – St. Isidore School
lovemyschool.com – school finder