By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
DeWitt — Since taking on the role of principal at St. Joseph Catholic School seven years ago, Sharon Roling has dreamed of being able to give students their own Bibles to use at home and throughout their lives. “It’s one of the best gifts in all the world,” she said.
In August that dream became reality, thanks to the generosity of Knights of Columbus Council 959, which includes members from DeWitt, Welton, Charlotte, Delmar, Sugar Creek and Bryant.
Grand Knight Don Fuglsang said, “The Knights of Columbus are all about promoting Christianity. What better place to start than with our youth.”
Roling and Lola Blaser, religion teacher at St. Joe’s, saw the new edition of the St. Mary’s Press Catholic Youth Bible at the National Catholic Educational Association convention earlier this year. Once they returned home, they discussed with Father Stephen Page, the parish’s pastor, the possibility of giving a copy to all middle school students at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, and then to sixth graders every year thereafter.
The school needed to figure out a way to cover the cost of the Bibles. Roling spoke with former Grand Knight Dave Schumacher, who thought it was a great idea. He said the illustrations in the Catholic Youth Bible are beautiful, and the language is straightforward. “It’s an easy read, but not (watered down). The notes are very readable.” Fuglsang agreed. “If it is easy to read and understand, they are going to enjoy and use it more.”
The Bibles have been paid for out of the KC’s general fund at a cost of $26 apiece. The KCs also agreed to purchase Bibles for middle school religious education students. In total, about 100 Bibles will be distributed this year.
Fuglsang and Schumacher presented students with the Bibles after the first all-school Mass of the school year, Aug. 23. “It was a privilege to buy these. I hope you will use them and enjoy them,” Fuglsang told the students.
“You’ll sometimes be challenged by others (about your faith),” Fr. Page said. “If someone asks a question, it’s OK to say, ‘Let me look it up and get back to you.’ You’ll find most of the answers (to life’s questions) in the Bible.”