Bishop Conlon Sept 08

Back to School Message


          All the schools operating under the auspices of the Diocese of Steubenville are back in session, from preschool through college. College, you say.
          Well, to a degree. I’m referring to the Holy Name House of Formation in Steubenville for our college-level seminarians. Although they attend classes at Franciscan University of Steubenville, the seminarians live at Holy Name next to our cathedral. So do I.
          It is intriguing to listen to the young men discuss class material I studied 40 years ago. It’s also disheartening to realize how much I’ve forgotten. Then there’s all the information that wasn’t even around 40 years ago. (The seminarians help me with my computer now and then.)
          But Holy Name is a house of formation.  Father Timothy Shannon, the director, and Father Daniel Heusel, who assists him, add something far more significant than information. They are responsible for a value system and for a process of integration and for overall human growth, for a purpose in life.
          They are what parents and teachers are to Catholic schools. We could probably set up individual learning systems for our young students that would pump information into them. They could pass tests and get into college. So much, though, would be missing.
          As a new school year begins, I salute our parents and teachers who understand and accept their role as directors of their own house of formation.
          May it be a good year of the Lord.