President’s Perspective: Catholic Schools Week

January 30, 2017

Dear Mater Christi Families:

This week we join the more than 6,500 Catholic elementary and secondary schools across this country as we celebrate National Catholic Schools Week 2017.  The theme for this week is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service”.  This theme highlights the fact that Mater Christi School is not only a community in and of itself, but it is part of the larger community of Burlington, Vermont, the United States, and the world!

As you know, our school has a long and proud history in Burlington. For over 130 years, the Sisters of Mercy have been sponsoring schools and educating young people in the Burlington area dating back to the founding of Mount St. Mary’s Academy in 1886 and the development of Mater Christi School in 1963.  Throughout our history, we have been and continue to be a close-knit community and value-centered school where all are welcome!  Today, Mater Christi combines rigorous, 21st-century academics with a global philosophy in the Mercy tradition. From the first day of preschool through eighth grade graduation, we encourage our students to discover their many gifts and talents, and become the best version of themselves. A Mater Christi education transforms our students’ futures and prepares them to transform our world.

There are many reasons why Catholic schools like Mater Christi consistently achieve outstanding results.  Among the many reasons parents choose our school and that parents around the country choose Catholic schools is:

  1. We offer an education that combines Catholic teachings and the Mercy tradition with academic excellence.
  2. We partner with parents in the formation of their children.
  3. We set high standards for student achievement and help all students to succeed.
  4. We provide a balanced academic curriculum that integrates faith, culture, and life.
  5. We use technology effectively to enhance education.
  6. We instill in students the value of service to others.
  7. We teach children respect of self and others.
  8. We emphasize moral development and self-discipline.
  9. We prepare students to be productive citizens and future leaders.
  10. We have a 99% high school graduation rate, and 85% of Catholic high school graduates go on to college.
  11. We cultivate a faculty and staff of people who are dedicated, caring, and committed to best practice.
  12. We provide a safe and welcoming environment for all.

As we celebrate National Catholic Schools Week 2017, I want to thank you for entrusting your most precious gift, your child, to us!  Thank you for embracing our mission, thank you for appreciating our many talented and dedicated teachers and staff, and thank you for working in partnership with us to help your child become the very best version of themselves.

For 24 years, I have had the privilege to serve as a teacher and leader in Catholic schools. I use the word “privileged” both carefully and deliberately because I understand the great blessing and responsibility it is to help guide, shape, and lead students, families, faculties, and school communities.  One of the reasons that I have remained in Catholic education over nearly a quarter century is because I believe so strongly in both the mission and ministry of faith-based schools and how these communities of faith touch the lives of all who are part of our school family!

Thank you for sharing your family with us and for becoming part of a larger family: a family community deeply rooted in faith, knowledge, and service.  Happy National Catholic Schools Week 2017!


Patrick A. Lofton, Ed.S

President/Head of School