When I was in third grade I attended public school, and I was having difficulty focusing in my classes. Eventually my teacher recommended special education as the right next step for me, but my parents thought I might need a different learning environment instead. So, they moved me and my older sister to Most Holy Trinity Catholic school.

I didn’t know anybody, and the buildings had swamp coolers, so they were a little stinky – though as a third grader I thought it must be my teacher, Sr. Rita, that smelled funny.

From the day I arrived, Sr. Rita was kind yet firm, and she provided me with a completely new set of skills to help me tackle education. While I didn’t become an exceptional reader or the top of my class in math, Sr. Rita provided something much more impactful – she fostered a holy space where I was welcomed, noticed, safe, and had a sense of belonging. Little Debbie knew she could come as she was and that she was an important part of the Most Holy Trinity third grade family.

Sr. Rita’s love allowed me to thrive in a whole new way in my educational journey! Over time, my faith would become the foundation of everything in my life – including my role as wife, mother, professional, and fellow steward in the Lord’s vineyard. And it all began in Sr. Rita’s classroom through the Catholic culture she fostered. 

Catholic education changed my life, beginning at a young age, and it formed me into who I am today. It has the power to set even the littlest hearts ablaze, which is why I believe every child deserves a Catholic education!

What a gift that we have six Diocesan High Schools and 29 Catholic Elementary Schools in the Diocese of Phoenix, which foster the hearts and minds of more than 15,000 students! On November 2nd I invite you to take part in our virtual Night of Hope event, where all are welcome to gather and hear from Catholic school students themselves – PreK through 12th grade – about the impact Catholic education has had in their lives.

Will you join us for this wonderful event? Join thousands of others and register today at https://catholicschoolsphx.org/en/night-of-hope/

Please know of my gratitude for you and the role you play in making Catholic education possible in our Diocese.

I hope to “see” you November 2nd!