Dorothy France-Miller
Dorothy France-Miller

My Catholic education has helped me in many aspects of my life, and in more ways than one. Of course, there are the obvious and important ones about learning more about my faith and connecting with God, but there are also some more subtle ways. I feel that with my Catholic education, I have learned to express more empathy to others, and learned how to be a good leader, one that looks out for the team. I have learned to truly allow God into my life, and to find joy in him. I have been taught that being a Catholic is more than just reading the bible mindlessly and going to church, but about spreading the care and the love of Jesus to all people. It has taught me to love and not only accept, but embrace all people. To let the power and love of Jesus wash over and guide me in all things, for I know that is his wish.

I came to SMSA in third grade, when I was 8. Before, I had been going to the local public school. In this school, I felt out of place, like I was missing something. I also am a person who generally enjoys school, but during my second-grade year, my love of learning started to go down the drain. That’s when my mom enrolled me in Catholic school. The change was immediate, and I felt like I was among family in my new class.  Not only was this new feeling brought on by my wonderful teacher and classmates, but I could feel the gentle power and tenderness of Jesus everywhere I went. I finally began to enjoy school again, and take something away from it. I am learning not only my studies but life lessons that I will carry with me always. How to be compassionate, to embrace all of God’s creatures, and to love endlessly. I was taught the history of my faith, and how it has thrived and prospered for generations before me. I have learned this and much more.

Now, you may be thinking, “this is fine and wonderful, but how does this help me in the long run?” The truth is, there are many prejudiced people in the world against Catholics.  My lessons in Catholicism aid me in standing by my faith and remembering what my faith stands for in the face of such evils. The lessons I learned give me the courage to face people who may hurt others, and to let everyone’s voice be heard.  They give me patience in the little things in life, such as bothersome siblings and that dog that barks incessantly next door. Now, before I snap at my sisters or complain endlessly about the dog, I stop and think, “WWJD, or What Would Jesus Do?” Jesus wouldn’t scream at two little girls, or whine about a pet, so I smile, and let it go. The thing is, the smile isn’t forced. It is true because I know that I did the right thing, and have become closer to God. Now, I’m happy, and so are my sisters and the dog’s owner. Besides that, I also learn about the Ten Commandments. Now, I knew the gist of them before joining St. Mary’s-St. Alphonsus, but in my Catholic school I learned the true meaning of them. I know now that the 10 commandments are more than just some words to memorize and hopefully remember and follow, but the way to a fulfilling life.

My Catholic education has helped me in all aspects of my life. It gives me the courage to be a child of God, and to love the unlovable. It has given me guidance on my life choices and helped me to realize how all people are beautiful. I am encouraged to do service for others and participate in many service projects, which give me insight into the struggling of others and how to lighten their load. Most importantly, it has given me a purpose, and true happiness in life. One that can only come from the overwhelming love of God, and by living by his Word.

Dorothy France-Miller is an eighth-grader at St. Mary’s-St. Alphonsus Regional Catholic School.