Bishop Dennis Sullivan celebrated Mass for the opening of Catholic Schools Week at Saint Michael Church, Saint Clare of Assisi Parish, Gibbstown, on Jan. 28.
Katherine Kaderabek, who graduated from Guardian Angels Regional School in Gibbstown and is currently a student at Paul VI High School, Haddonfield, offered the following testimony.
Good morning. My name is Katherine Kaderabek. I am a senior at Paul VI High School and a member of the Guardian Angels Regional School class of 2014, fondly referred to as GARS.
The reason I am speaking to you this morning is in regard to my alma mater, Guardian Angels, and the other Catholic schools in our diocese. While it has only been three and a half short years since I was an eighth-grade student at GARS, the impressions left upon me from my education at GARS will last a lifetime.
I entered Paul VI High School with a sense of self-confidence. The education I received from first grade through eighth grade completely prepared me for high school. The academic rigor of GARS greatly prepared me to enter the Honors Programs at PVI. It is the foundation of my education I received at Guardian Angels, built upon by Paul VI academics, which has led me to be successful as one of the top five students in my graduating class.
Since attending GARS, my spiritual life has grown as well. It is the love for God, fostered in the Guardian Angels community that led — not only to success in Paul VI religion classes, but an active role in the school’s campus ministry. A few short weeks ago, I returned from leading Paul VI’s Kairos 4 retreat — a four day retreat with no cell phones at the Malvern Retreat House in Pennsylvania. I cannot express how amazing and heartwarming it is to have seen 40 juniors and seniors come to know the Lord as I have. It is the passion and dedication to God which was instilled in me at GARS that has led me to become an advocate for the Christian faith. As a Eucharistic minister at Mass, I have come to a better understanding of the role religion plays in my daily life.
Guardian Angels has supplied me with the leadership qualities which are essential for being a good role model to those around me. At PVI, I am a member of the Peer Leadership Program, as well as captain of the varsity swim team, and president of the National History Club. Without the values of responsibility, kindness, courage and determination Guardian Angels gave me, I would not have been able to accomplish these things.
All of these things have added up to the best time so far in high school. I know without a doubt that the knowledge I gained as a student at GARS helped me throughout high school and I am forever grateful to all of my teachers at GARS.
Guardian Angels Regional School is the best elementary school in South Jersey in my opinion. I will admit, I am slightly biased toward the school that gave me an excellent education, introduced me to great friends and encouraged me to excel in all areas. I encourage you to visit and learn about how their educational programs can help all students. They will be hosting an open house on Thursday, Feb. 1; more information may be found in this week’s bulletin or by visiting the school website.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you for your support of my school. In part to your generosity, I was able to receive more than a phenomenal education — I have received a tremendous gift, which will last a lifetime, an education rooted in my Catholic faith which challenged to me to succeed in all things.
Thank you for your time and attention and God bless!