By Ms. Kristina Ortega, religion teacher at Flintridge Sacred Heart
A few years ago, when Sr. Celeste Botello, Flintridge Sacred Heart's principal, interviewed me for the position of twelfth grade religion teacher, she asked me why I wanted to teach at a Catholic all-girls school. I told her that, as a product of a Catholic all girls high school, I believed in the mission of girls’ schools forming confident leaders who know themselves and are sure of their own voices. The six years I spent as a student in an all-girls school were foundational to who I am today and the way I see the world and interact with those around me. As an educator and an alumna of an all-girls school, I have been asked many times about the benefits of a single-sex education.
Ms. Ortega delivered the reflection during mass celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
My answers have always centered around academic studies and my own anecdotal evidence about the benefits girls receive from being in single gender classrooms especially in STEM classes. Recently, though, I have begun to approach this question from a new perspective. I don’t just think about why all-girls schools are important. I want to explore why CATHOLIC all-girls schools are important. CATHOLIC all-girls high schools provide a place for young women to grow in their faith, find their voice and explore and define the future roles of women in a historically patriarchal church.
I can think of no better training ground for leadership within our church than the classrooms and halls of a Catholic all-girls school.
In a July 2013 statement to the press Pope Francis
, after being asked about women in the church, stated that a “Church without women cannot be understood ... She can only do this or that, now she is an altar server, then she does the reading, she is president of Caritas. But there is more!” But what is that more?! Continue reading on our blog.