It is my great privilege to be spending this year working at Saint Joseph High School as a student teacher. I spent the fall semester sitting in on a senior-level vocations class. It was arguably the most interesting class I have ever been a part of. The goal of the class is to introduce (or solidify) the notion of a vocation; looking at how each person has a call from God to live their full potential in a way that will bring them ever closer to Him. But it did not stop there—the class was not just an academic exercise on what a vocation is—it also revolved around the students’ own sense of their vocations and helping them to grow in little ways toward God’s call.
I grew up going to public schools, and I had a great experience. I always wondered what was so special about Catholic schools. I had great mentors, teachers, and coaches, and I felt every bit as holy as my Catholic school peers. As I have grown in Holy Cross, I have been quietly trying to see what it is that makes Catholic schools special. I was looking for an answer to the question of “why would I encourage parents to send their kids to Catholic schools?” I have gleaned pieces here and there, but this vocations class really drove home for me a big difference. In public schools, the focus is on a career, on what you do. At St. Joe, the focus is on a vocation, on who you are and who you are called to be. I felt very privileged to be able to walk with that group of seniors for a semester, sharing in their lives, and giving them examples and experiences from my own sense of vocation and calling.
In the spring semester, I was given the opportunity to function as the primary teacher for a sophomore Ecclesiology class. This was my first time teaching, and it has been an incredible experience. Being able to stand in front of my 27 students and teach them about the Church and its importance in the life of the world, and in their own lives, has been a great growing opportunity for me. I have never had more respect for the work that teachers do than I have now, especially for Catholic school teachers! Being able to not only communicate information for test retention, but also to pay attention to the growth of the whole person for each individual entrusted to you is a tremendous responsibility.
The teachers I have been fortunate enough to work with this year have shown me in very concrete ways what it means to be an educator of hearts and minds. They truly exemplify their vocations as teachers and encourage me to do the same in my own vocation to the priesthood and religious life.
Mr. Tim Mouton, C.S.C. is in his third year of temporary vows as a seminarian at Moreau Seminary. He and other seminarians at Moreau post twice each month for the Spes Unica Blog, sharing on their life and formation at Moreau. Meet our other men in formation, and learn more about seminary life in Holy Cross, and specifically about the Postulant Program at Moreau Seminary, which constitutes the first year of religious and priestly formation in Holy Cross for college graduates.