The Valley Catholic January 16, 2018 - Page 15 | January 16, 2018 CATHOLIC CATHOLIC EDUCATION INSPIRES knowledge . SCHOOLS 15 Celebrating Catholic Schools Week January 2018 Dear Brothers and Sisters, When Catholic Schools were first established in the United States, their primary functions were to offer for- mation in the faith and, at the same time, to make a rigorous academic curriculum available to all. For more than two centuries, these principles have served as “guiding lights” for Catholic Education, whether in parochial elementary and secondary schools or other free-standing schools operated by religious communi- ties of women and men. Recent years have seen great attention focused on pedagogical methodology that have propelled many of our schools to a new standard of excellence. And this is wonderful; however, if Catholic Education is to succeed in the twenty-first century, it must still pass the test of affordability. Our schools were founded for the children of immigrants; they should still be available for newly-arrived families, just as they are for others. This Catholic Schools Week, we celebrate our com- mitment to making our schools available to all who would choose them for their sons and daughters. We also celebrate and thank the historic efforts of many parish communities who have made Catholic Education possible. At the sa