The superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Boston, Thomas W. Carroll, traveled some 3,000 miles to Thomas Aquinas College’s California campus last week to recruit the next generation of teachers, calling TAC students “some of the brightest, most well-educated, faithful people” he could hire.

“You’re earnest, well-prepared, and serious about intellectual curiosity,” he told students. “I would be confident in hiring every Thomas Aquinas College graduate that applied.”

Thomas W. Carroll
Thomas W. Carroll

Coming just two months after his visit to the New England campus, Mr. Carroll once again spoke of the good work that dedicated young educators can achieve, citing a 10th grade social-science teacher whose influence indirectly led him to his wife, his Catholic faith, and every job he has held since. “Teachers see their students five days a week at least seven hours a day … that’s more time than some parents get with their own kids,” he reflected.

During his three-day visit to campus, Mr. Carroll also met personally with many seniors and interviewed them for positions in the Archdiocese of Boston. Although it is ordinarily the work of principals, not superintendents, to recruit and interview teachers, Mr. Carroll personally visited the College’s two campuses, he said, because he recognizes the importance of choosing good faculty and appreciates the quality of the College’s prospective hires.

“I need talented principals and they, in turn, need talented teachers,” he told a large group of students who came to his Wednesday evening presentation in St. Cecilia Hall’s Dillon Seminar Room. He is looking for teachers, he continued, who are “not only faithful, but also external witnesses to the Faith,” those who will “inspire students to put their faith at the center of their lives.”

Although college is often cited as the time when young Catholics lose their faith, Mr. Carroll argued that this sad turn of events typically begins much sooner. “Many students lose their faith starting in sixth  grade, when they begin to ask questions about their faith and receive inadequate answers,” he said. This challenge could be met, he added, “by hiring teachers who are inspiring, faithful witnesses to our Catholic faith with a deep understanding of moral theology.”

The role of the educator, Mr. Carroll insisted, is essentially one of evangelization. “Teachers need to look at every single child in their class as a unique gift from God, made in His image and likeness, and I’m looking for people who do just that. We can never have enough of that,” he said. “Over time, as I bring more people in and light more candles across each of our schools, the light that shines will grow brighter and brighter until it doesn’t just shine across the country, but the world. If you’re interested in that, to quote someone pretty famous, ‘Come follow me.’”