COVINGTON, Kentucky (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic grade school in the Diocese of Covington has seen more faith-filled and better students since the parish priest instituted daily Mass as part of the school day.
For the past five years, St. Augustine school in Covington has had an 8 a.m. Mass as part of the school day, thanks to the collaboration of Father Daniel Schomaker and Principal Kathy Nienaber.
“Five years later, St. Augustine scored second place among 30 diocesan parish schools on an assessment of students’ religious knowledge, and the pastor and principal credit daily Mass with boosting the children’s engagement with the faith,” the National Catholic Register reported. “Yet that academic bonus doesn’t tell the whole story of this Catholic school’s transformative policy.”
The Register reported that many of the children come from broken, low-income homes, where it’s common for a parent to be in prison or struggling with an addiction. Furthermore, 40 percent of the school is not Catholic – but many students have converted while at the school and drawn their parents in as well. Some parents have reverted to the faith.
“Participation in the Mass not only calms the soul, it reminds every child that they are deeply loved by the Lord and by those who seek to live out his teachings in a suffering world,” the Register reported, based on interviews with Fr. Schomaker and Principal Nienaber.
“These kids come from different family, cultural and economic backgrounds, and here they are reminded that they are all children of God,” the priest told the Register. “That determines who they are and how they live their life and instills an understanding of their inherent dignity.”
His daily homilies are crafted to speak to the students and give them holy guidance as they navigate the difficulties of life.
Rob Kenney with the Sophia Institute, which implemented a a religious assessment tool, said that daily Mass is important to grow in holiness.
“By offering daily Mass for their students and faculty, a school like St. Augustine goes from teaching about the Catholic faith to actually living it out each day,” Kenney told the Register. “What a wonderful way for students and teachers alike to receive the graces and grow in holiness.”