By Tim Harfmann
Gitae Park is a talented musician and performed for Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio as part of his visit during Catholic Schools Week. He appreciates his Catholic education at Flushing’s St. Andrew Avellino Academy. “They give me a better understanding of my faith and they lead me to believe in God more,” said Park, an 8th grader at the academy.
Bishop DiMarzio said that’s what makes a Catholic education vital. “The Catholic schools are second to none. There’s great talent, great learning and great care for the students. It’s important because unless we nurture faith, we will find no faith in the future.”
Nearly 25,000 children attend a Catholic academy in Brooklyn and Queens, and another 11,000 attend a Catholic high school. Superintendent of schools, Dr. Tom Chadzutko, says Catholic schools provide a well-round education. “Emotionally we engage them, socially we engage them, intellectually we engage them; and we challenge their talents. We give them an opportunity to really grow and develop. And every child has a talent we want to manifest,” said Chadzutko.
Bishop DiMarzio also visited Sacred Heart Catholic Academy in Bayside for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the school’s new S.T.R.E.A.M. lab — which stands for science, technology, religion, engineering, art and mathematics. The bishop blessed the state-of-the-art equipment with holy water. “It’s just cool learning about how different things in the world work, like how humans work, because it’s important to know how we operate,” said Zachary Green, an 8th grader at the Bayside academy.
Learning and sharpening their skills, all while deepening their faith.