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Catholic Schools: A tradition for Boston, a tradition for me

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... when we looked at the Catholic schools near us, we realized the values being taught today were the same as in past generations. We knew it was the right decision.

Catholic education has taught me great values such as working hard, treating others well, and being empathetic. These values are the same ones that my father was taught when he attended St. Margaret School in Dorchester in 1955. When my wife and I attended Catholic schools, these same values were integral to the education and enlightenment that helped us navigate the path to adulthood. And today, as our two daughters receive a Catholic education, we are heartened by the simple yet powerful fact that the same values which were important to our family so many decades ago are still being instilled today.

Of course, this kind of tradition goes far beyond one family. I attended St. Theresa School in West Roxbury, and my wife Adrienne attended St. Anne School in Readville. I then went to Catholic Memorial High School while Adrienne went to Boston Latin School. Many of our classmates had parents who attended the same schools. That's just the way it was. These were communities where people looked out for each other and helped each other daily, especially in times of need. Parents volunteered at the school and at the church. Many of my closest friends are the guys I went to school with, and I would say we all share the same values.

As my wife and I look back on those days, we truly believe that we thrived in the smaller setting of a Catholic school and the close communities that were formed there. It never felt institutional or anonymous. We never felt lost in the crowd, or just another kid being herded down a hallway between classes. We were always known and loved, supported and cared for along our faith journey. I distinctly remember Mr. Chisholm and Mr. Murphy from Catholic Memorial. They knew everyone's name -- where they came from, who was in their family, you name it. They were intent on making sure the kids maximized their potential. My wife's memories are just as clear. At St. Anne's, third grade was the ultimate grade. Why? Miss Milano. She made everyone feel special, and that's why everyone loved her and remembers her. She's still making kids feel special today at Holy Name School. Lucky kids, every one of them.

When it came time to send our two girls to school, we faced the decision many parents face. Stay in Boston? Move to the suburbs? Consider other options? But when we looked at the Catholic schools near us, we realized the values being taught today were the same as in past generations. We knew it was the right decision. What's more, when we went to visit the school, and saw the smiling faces, it made me think of my grandmother. This is what she did for my father, I thought. And now, we are lucky enough to do the same for our children. As I witness the great success of the Campaign for Catholic Schools, and see all that's made possible for so many students and families, I am grateful to think of the positive impact it will have for generations to come.

I feel that my Catholic education has given me the faith to remain hopeful in life. Someone I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for has told me on many occasions that there are three phases in life: Learn, Earn and Return. I like that. I am still working hard at Learn and Earn, and I am hopeful that I'll be able to do a great job with Return. With the values, faith, and integrity that my Catholic education provided, I'd like to think that my chances are pretty good.

TIM GREENE IS DIRECTOR IN INSTITUTIONAL EQUITY SALES AT BARCLAYS. GREENE IS A SUPPORTER OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AS AN HONOR ROLL MEMBER AND HAS SERVED ON THE HONOR ROLL COMMITTEE SINCE 2014.

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