My Catholic School Experience- By Mike Connor

My Catholic School Experience

By Mike Connor

As the youngest of three children in an Irish Catholic family, my Catholic faith was instilled in me from day one. From Sunday Mass and holy days of obligation to Saturday evening confession and saying the rosary, living the life of a practicing Catholic was part of our family’s DNA.

So when it came time to go to school, I followed my older brother and sister to St. Pius X in Broomall for grade school and to Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield. Between the three of us, we spent 40 school years in Catholic education. Even though this represented a large expense for my parents, they felt that the daily immersion in our Catholic faith that attending a Catholic school provided was well worth the sacrifice.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed my grade school and high school education so much that I continued on by attending a Catholic university, Wheeling Jesuit University, in West Virginia. When choosing a college, the religious aspect was a very important consideration for me, as I wanted to be in an atmosphere that emphasized Catholic values, while also continuing with the academic excellence that I was accustomed to. Ironically my college roommate came from a strong Catholic family, and his two brothers were priests – another sign that I made the right choice in schools.

After graduation, marriage, and starting a family, my wife (also a Cardinal O’Hara graduate) and I discussed our children’s education. Being a young married couple in our mid-20’s, both with entry-level jobs, we knew that being able to afford a Catholic education for our children would be difficult, but we both agreed that finding a way to make it work was our only option. We wanted our children to experience the respect and discipline that a Catholic education brings – the focus on developing their minds, bodies, souls, and spirits. We wanted them to share the sense of attending school in a caring, supportive community atmosphere. And it was important to us that they had excellent Catholic role models in their schools, like we did, in the parish nuns, priests, and teachers.

As a result, our four children have all attended Catholic schools from kindergarten on. Our oldest son and daughter attended St. Pius X and Cardinal O’Hara, and our younger children are attending Catholic grade school and high school as well. We could not be more proud of the outstanding education they have received, as well as, being challenged to be engaged in the community and serving others.

As our 43rd President, George W. Bush, said “Catholic schools carry out a great mission, to serve God by building knowledge and character. By teaching the word of God, you prepare your students to follow a path of virtue.” I could not agree more.

Your Tax Dollars Can Help Students Afford an O’Hara Education

“This is the only program where you can literally provide thousands of dollars to O’Hara to award in financial aid to families in need, while only costing you pennies to participate.”      ~ Paul Boston, Cardinal O’Hara Board member and current parent

Cardinal O’Hara prides itself on providing a rigorous and comprehensive education rooted in our Catholic faith. We also work tirelessly to provide financial aid for students, which in today’s world is vital to ensuring that every student who desires an O’Hara education can afford one.

the financial aid paradigm-1O’Hara provides $2.6 million in tuition assistance annually. This financial aid is funded through the tax credit program and through our O’Hara Fund. We are grateful to the donors who make gifts to support our students and our school.

You can help O’Hara students who need financial assistance by participating in the EITC/OSTC program. The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs provide businesses and individuals that pay PA taxes with a tax credit. These individuals and businesses receive a Pennsylvania tax credit equal to 90% of the contribution. Most donors will also receive federal benefit equal to approximately 4%. The process to participate in this program is simple and we have professionals who can walk you through the process step-by-step.

“The EITC/OSTC tax credit program provided by the state and administered by BLOCS, was a program that I found, to be the easiest way to help O’Hara and their families,” reflects Paul Boston. “As a CPA, who helps clients with preparing and planning for their taxes, I reviewed the program years ago to make sure that the benefits to the person contributing to the program and the benefits to the school were as good as it sounded. I found that this program is the single best way for my clients and me to help the families in our area send their child to the school that is best for him or her. The BLOCS organization makes the process of contributing to the school of your choice and receiving the tax credit provided by the State of PA, the easiest and most transparent. This is the only program where you can literally provide thousands of dollars to O’Hara to award in financial aid to families in need, while only costing you pennies to participate. I wholeheartedly endorse the tax credit program, personally and professionally.”

To learn more about how you can help O’Hara through the tax credit program, contact Jen Tuberosa at or 610.544.5679. To make a contribution to support our students through our O’Hara Fund visit

We thank the corporations and individuals who support O’Hara through the tax credit program:

  • Active Image Media, LLC
  • Bill and Barbra Adolph
  • B & E Sportswear, LP
  • Paul and Christina Boston
  • Bryn Mawr Trust Company
  • Bill and Lynn Caramanico
  • John and Erin Caramanico
  • Alvin and Kathy Clay
  • Joe and Mary Crawford
  • Chuck and Peggy Creighton
  • DAS Companies
  • Bill Daggett, Jr.
  • Charles DeFeo
  • Robert Deitz
  • Stephen Donahue
  • Derrick and Kristen Dougherty
  • Bob and Chris Dumont
  • Harold Earley
  • Essent Guaranty, Inc.
  • Marty and Susan Farrell
  • Mike and Donna Farrell
  • J & T Building Company, LP
  • Joseph and Anna Finley
  • Mike Frost
  • John and Joan Gallagher
  • Joseph and Joanne Garvey
  • Larry Giacchino
  • Thomas and Joanne Goldsmith
  • Joseph Grande
  • Gerard and Mary Griesser
  • The Griesser Group
  • Ed and Ellen Hanway
  • Jerry and Christine Haftmann
  • Tony and Mary Kate Hayden
  • Tom and Rose Ingelsby
  • Anthony Latini
  • Chuck Lawson
  • Living Assistance Services
  • Colleen and Paul Martin
  • Larry and Michele McAlee
  • Bill McDevitt
  • William and Lisa McGinnis
  • Clyde McKee
  • Edward and Cheryl Morris
  • Peter and Kathe Morris
  • Jim and Sharon O’Brien
  • Mike and Mary Kay O’Rourke
  • Ricky Palladino
  • The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • Joe and Karin Purcell
  • Patrick and Jean Reger
  • Republic Bank
  • Cary and Maryann Toner
  • Stephen and Betsy Wellman
  • Robert and Mary Gene Woods


written by Jennifer Tuberosa, Vice President of Development