Last night, I attended Holy Thursday mass in my town’s beautiful parish. The mass was offered in English and Spanish, and as I listened to the hymns and prayers, both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, I thought about just how much our faith means to our communities.

In a world that seems determined to divide us along every possible line, the Church stands out as an example of a better way. It’s a bulwark for peace and unity when both feel more threatened than ever.

I sat among believers of all ages, races, and backgrounds and realized how quiet the noise that surrounds us everywhere else had become. It does not exist there, just like it doesn’t exist in Catholic churches and schools across the country.

This is why we say Catholic schools have meaning far beyond tests and textbooks.

These are the stakes when challenges come and they are forced to close. And it’s why we fight for school choice programs that can make sure no school is forced to close when it is serving the community.

In recent days, those of you in Tennessee and Iowa have stepped up to advocate for school choice bills in your states.

As we step back to spend time with family and friends over this Holy Week, I want you to know how much your voice means, to students in your community and across the country.

Thank you for standing up for students.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Good Friday and Happy Easter!

All my best,

Rebekah Bydlak
American Federation for Children