Belmont Abbey grad inspires next generation of Catholics at CCHS
CHARLOTTE — Patrick Jacobeen didn't always want to be a teacher. He earned a bachelor's degree in theology from Belmont Abbey College and states that it really was after being affected so profoundly by some of his professors there that he felt drawn to his current career path.
He grew up in the Diocese of Arlington in northern Virginia in a vibrant, Catholic family where faith has always been the center – a fact which helps him live what he teaches as a freshman and sophomore high school theology teacher at Charlotte Catholic High School.
"The subject matter I am teaching naturally holds me accountable to living my faith," says Jacobeen. "I must live what I am teaching my students and be an example of it to the best of my ability. The most important way I practice my faith on the job is by striving for the students to no longer see me but Christ who works in me... the goal of any Christian. It is a matter of being faithful to daily prayer and the sacraments... encouraging, and even more so inspiring the students to do likewise."
Jacobeen, who attended Belmont Abbey College on the Honors Institute Fellowship and was in the inaugural class for that fellowship, was also a member of the Felix Hintemeyer Program, the school's Catholic Leadership program.
How does he think it's going so far?
"So far, so good!" he says.
"Teachers truly live out a specific and demanding calling. I think that it is much more than a simple occupation taken on for financial reasons. Rather, it is the mission of a teacher especially in a Catholic school to be a teacher, a witness in his every action. It is one thing to impart knowledge to students in the classroom, but what is really important is that what is taught touches the students' hearts, so that they truly believe it, and believe it to a degree that it brings about action, indeed, a way of life," he says.
"This is not accomplished first and foremost by the presentation of material in the classroom but rather by being a living example to the students and presenting them with stories of the saints who have gone before us as inspiration to greatness. Each student, each soul is called to greatness by virtue of their baptism."
Jacobeen also works in the Campus Ministry office for the Diocese of Charlotte.
"Working in Campus Ministry allows me the opportunity to be involved with the students in many ways outside of the classroom. I think these extracurricular activities are an awesome opportunity to build relationships with the students and to help them navigate life according to the Gospel of Christ in whatever way I can help."
His philosophy on how to engage students more in their Catholic faith:
"Every opportunity I am given, I try to build within the students a right reverence, attitude and understanding of the Eucharist, for the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. I try to take after our Holy Father's lead (albeit much more insignificantly) by beginning with the Eucharist and the Liturgy in educating the students in their Catholic faith and leading them to a friendship with their brother, captain and king, Jesus Christ."
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
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- Annusfidei.va: Vatican's Year of Faith website
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- My Year of Faith App: Daily prayers, reflections and thoughts
- Video Catechism for Teens: A free online resource for youths and young adults
- Weekly video series: “C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith”
- OnceCatholic.org: Geared for people who have left their Catholic faith
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy