Tuition costs down, enrollment up at Faribault school

| January 30, 2014 | 0 Comments
Father Erik Lundgren

Father Lundgren

Gloria in excelsis Deo! Jesus, I trust in you!

These are the exultations of Divine Mercy Catholic Church and School that remind us time and again why we exist and how we are to live. We, like the heavenly angelic host, exist for God’s glory. We are called — like St. Faustina — to live as men and women, boys and girls, who prayerfully trust in Jesus to take care of what matters most in this life and shepherd our souls into heaven. One with the mind and heart of Popes Benedict and Francis, a renewed emphasis on these simple Gospel truths in our parish school community has led to a minor miracle in Faribault.

For two years in a row (and hopefully for many subsequent years), Divine Mercy Catholic School families have seen tuition and fees lowered. In a climate and culture where yearly tuition increases are the norm simply to keep up with the cost of education, this is nothing short of miraculous. At the same time, Divine Mercy has increased its services — greater use of technology, the addition of SMART boards in classrooms, hiring more teachers, adding Spanish curriculum in two grades, and creating a resource center to offer specialized help to both students in need of extra assistance, as well as extra challenge. Overall enrollment has increased by more than 10 percent since last year, scholarship and financial aid assistance is up, and our student body is more diverse than ever, as we have welcomed more families from our parish’s Latino community, as well as students with “Individual Education Plans” who previously needed to rely on more specialized help from the public school district.

Our weekly liturgies are as vibrant as ever, our children are frequently reminded to keep their hands folded near their hearts, and two weeks ago, every student in the school spent time with our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration praying for an end to abortion.

Behind it all is the deep faith of one of the oldest Catholic communities in the archdiocese and an adventurous return to the practice and challenge of tithing. For the last two and a half years, we have preached about the concrete scriptural and traditional mandate to give at least 10 percent of your income/produce to the Church — without compromise or reticence. That has made the primary difference financially. Truly, it’s our increases in the Sunday collection that have made the reductions realistic and sustainable.

Thank God, and thank you to the great people of Divine Mercy Catholic Church. Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Father Erik Lundgren is parochial vicar and assistant principal at Divine Mercy Catholic Church and School in Faribault.

Category: Commentary