Tuition assistance helps youth benefit from Catholic, faith-based high school education

May 11, 2021

Nancy Gallegos (center), senior at St. Pius X High School, receives tuition assistance from a grant through the Diocesan Services Fund (DSF). (Photo courtesy of St. Pius X High School)

HOUSTON — With the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston having the largest Catholic school system in Texas with 45 grade schools and 11 Catholic high schools serving 17,000 students, a top priority is given to keeping a Catholic education available, affordable and accessible to families with demonstrated need.

This is especially important to offset the costs associated with attending a private high school.

Tuition assistance is made possible by a variety of sources, including grants provided by the annual Diocesan Services Fund (DSF) that supports 60 essential ministries and programs in the Archdiocese that serve the religious, spiritual and human needs of thousands of people from every parish.

According to Carmen Armistead, head of school at St. Pius X, a Catholic education should be accessible to all families that profess a desire for it.

However, she said those with financial means should consider sharing their resources to help those in need through programs like the DSF-funded Archdiocesan Tuition Assistance Program.

“These DSF grant monies enable students whose families value and desire a Catholic education to be educated and formed into what our school calls Veritas Men and Women — messengers of hope, voices of truth, and seekers of peace — or more directly spoken, young people who do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons,” said Armistead.

“These monies enable schools like St. Pius X to foster the future of bright, learned, Catholic-educated young people who understand the importance of making a difference in the world around them and have the capacity to do so. In short, Catholic schools develop leaders and scholars who make a difference in the world.”

An example of one of those students at St. Pius X that receives tuition assistance is Nancy Gallegos, senior class of 2021. She is thankful for the support of the faithful in the Archdiocese that affords her the opportunity to receive a Catholic education.

“Because of the unwavering support of those who give, I am able to continue my Catholic education while actively pursuing my interests in sports medicine, track and field, choir and theater,” said Gallegos. “I am so incredibly thankful that there are many caring individuals who so freely and generously give and create opportunities for students like me.”

According to Joseph Noonan, principal of St. John XXIII, the formational programs at Catholic schools are vital to their mission and that of the Church.

He said by providing opportunities for young people to recognize that faith and reason are intertwined, Catholic schools prepare students to live as faithful stewards of the gifts God has given to them.

“This connection is opposed by the various messages students receive from secular media and culture, so moreover, we have a dual responsibility,” said Noonan. “As a school, we must provide the very best academic and co-curricular programs for our students. As a Catholic school, we must do this in an environment that is unabashedly faithful to the teachings of the Church.”

Noonan said this is no small task and is a tremendous challenge to the teachers and staff at schools like St. John XXIII. He said they work hard to send graduates into the world prepared for hard work, with a willingness to see and meet the needs of others, using a heart centered on Christ.

“Of all the challenges Catholic education is facing these days, keeping tuition costs affordable is the most significant,” Noonan said. “It is vitally important to provide the annual Archdiocesan Tuition Assistance Program to our families, and we are grateful for the funding we receive. The annual DSF support of tuition assistance sends a clear message that this is an important effort to help families offset the costs of a Catholic education.”

Armistead said the Archdiocesan Tuition Assistance Program supports a Catholic education that also promotes and supports many of the same ideals and values that make up the essence of the family — care, compassion and love.

She said faith is the very cornerstone of both Catholic schools and a family’s existence, and through community service and other programs, students are taught to support not only one another within their school community but also the Houston community at large.

“Students in our Catholic schools are taught to care for the marginalized and under-served in our communities,” said Armistead. “As a Dominican school, St. Pius X believes strongly that our students should be formed to preach truth and teach justice; we instill an ability to recognize injustice and work for justice.”

To learn more, visit To learn more about the DSF, visit