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Mom of the House: Catholic or public school? Why we chose Catholic

When it was time to register our daughter for school my husband assumed that we would enroll Penny in public school . . . I had a different idea
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Mom of the House with Brianna Bell

Each day my daughter comes home from school and tells me about her day. She’s an active, thriving, and social 4-year-old. She loves to learn and experience new things, and school has been a perfect fit for her.

A few nights ago Penny and I were lying in bed, talking about our days and enjoying a few moments together before she fell asleep. Penny asked if she could say a prayer that she learned in school that day.

“Of course!” I said.

She prayed the Lord’s Prayer, without missing a word. I was shocked, especially that she had learned the entire prayer in her Kindergarten class.

I laid in bed, listening to her soft breaths as she drifted off to sleep, and I thought about the difficult decision my husband and I had made a few months earlier.

One of the things that drew me to my husband Daniel was his faith.

It’s rare to find a young man that values faith, wants to live a life of integrity, much less decides he wants to dedicate his entire life to the church. But that’s my Daniel, a loving husband and father who has dedicated his entire life to serving others. Literally, it’s in his job description, as a Pastor.

When it was time to register our daughter for school my husband assumed that we would enroll Penny in public school. He had received a public school education and felt that it was only natural that his kids would too.

I had a different idea.

As a second-generation Maltese-Canadian, I found value in preserving my history and roots in the Catholic church. I was raised Catholic, and attended Catholic school. My Catholic education was an integral part of my faith journey, even though I decided on my own that I wanted to attend a Protestant church when I was older.

Being married to a Protestant Pastor, it became more difficult to convince him that a Catholic education was the right choice.

I wanted my daughter to grow up in the history and tradition of the Catholic church, even if it meant that she wouldn’t call herself a Catholic.

In only a few short months, I have watched as my daughter has grown in her understanding of her faith, and has enjoyed learning new traditions.

She now attends mass each month with her school, and has learned about priests and nuns, holy water, and the sign of the cross.

I remember her first mass experience she shared with me how she had to kneel during prayer. I loved that she’s learning the reverence and respect taught in the Catholic church.

Now when my daughter grows I can share with her that her Great-Grandparents attended mass in Malta many years ago. I can share with her the Catholic tradition of our ancestors and she’ll carry a part of that with her.

But most importantly, I love that my daughter is free to express her faith and her values in the classroom.

She spends so much of her day there, and the fact that she’s able to speak freely about every part of her life, including her faith, is very special to me.



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Brianna Bell

About the Author: Brianna Bell

Brianna Bell is a Guelph-based writer who focuses on events, small businesses, and community stories. In addition to GuelphToday, she has written for The Guelph Mercury and The Globe & Mail.
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