It’s been a strange and difficult semester for Catholic schools and colleges. Our institutions offer a unique social, spiritual, and intellectual formation that depends on personal presence, but students have been exiled from our classrooms, chapels, and athletic fields.
For Catholic educators who have struggled to build on the strong relationships formed in the first three quarters of the school year, the serious limitations of distance education are obvious. And as the academic year draws to a close, it’s a good time to consider how the sudden and temporary change from a traditional classroom education to distance education may have affected student formation.
But before we do so, we would be remiss not to recognize one very important benefit to the temporarily forced distance between educator and student: this experience of exile has surely helped our families and educators better appreciate the amazing gift of an “in-person” Catholic education. We yearn for it, because we know that it is good, and we realize how much we love what has been taken away from us.