Dear Friends,

Greetings from St. Joseph Catholic Academy in Astoria/Long Island City, New York!
It has been said that aside from making children smart, the primary function of school is to make children good. Through the years, Catholic schools have adapted to the changes necessary to deliver the finest quality education to their students. Throughout its one-hundred and twenty-eight year history, St. Joseph Catholic Academy has made such necessary adaptations and continues to provide the finest quality education to students in Nursery through eighth grade.

I am just as pleased to say that when it comes “to making students good,” Catholic schools have always placed a priority on teaching values, often in opposition to societal values. Please allow me to share a personal experience to illustrate what I mean.

I was riding the #7 Train into Manhattan one day several months ago when my eye caught sight of an ad that gave me pause. I don’t remember what product the ad was designed to sell, but I do remember its message. While the ad included the phrase, “It is better to give than to receive,” the word “than” was crossed out and printed above it was the word “and.” The message: it is not better to give than to receive; it is better to give and to receive.

I don’t believe that too many people would argue that giving and getting are both goods in themselves, but when I was a boy going to Catholic school, I was taught to give without expecting to get anything in return. I am proud to say that Catholic schools still teach that value.

Values centered learning is so critical today because in many ways our society has abandoned its role to uphold values – in that sense, Catholic schools today may be considered counter cultural.

If we don’t place a higher value on giving than on receiving, we miss the value of sacrifice and fail to teach children of the importance of making a contribution without expecting something in return. Jesus teaches that we get by giving – that it is in the giving that we receive.

Catholic schools place a priority on character development informed through the scriptures – the Gospel message – and stand in stark contrast to the society that teaches us to believe that more is good, bigger is better, and that getting is just as important as giving.

We are grateful to the parents who continue to choose to give their children the gift of a Catholic education at St. Joseph Catholic Academy.

Please explore our website to learn more about what we have to offer your child and feel free to contact me at [email protected] for more information.

Luke Nawrocki, Principal