Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s
I am very excited for the beginning of our new school year. Please keep our students and staff in your prayers. I know many of our parishioners work in schools- know of our prayers for you during this pandemic. Thank you, Anne and all the staff, for your hard work preparing for this upcoming year so we can open confidently and safely.
One of the blessings of having a Catholic School is that the faith is at the heart of everything we do. The challenge is looking for ways to measure how the faith is being integrated into the day. A simple tool is this: the faith should be known, seen, and lived. That same measuring tool is equally applicable in our families and individual lives.
Known– I remember as I drew near to ordination after eight years in Seminary it was stressed to us over and over again that our formation needed to continue after we left formal studies. We would need to be intentional about continuing to learn we so we could both know and express the richness of our faith. That has been a great challenge for me to keep in mind. Even though I am priest I don’t know the entirety of the faith and I never will. This is the truth of any relationship- there is always more to know. We all want to love and follow the Lord more closely. The better that you know someone the deeper your relationship grows. Even as our kids get ready to return to school may it be a reminder for each of us to keep on learning ourselves.
Seen– The faith should not only be taught but it needs to be evident. At Sacred Heart the school is decorated with beautiful art and we have images of Jesus, Mary, and the Saints throughout the school. Our lives and our homes should exhibit who we are without us ever having to say anything. I know a man whose introduction to faith came from seeing a crucifix and asking himself the question- “Who is that man on that cross?” That simple question opened the door to seeking out who Jesus was and coming to know Him. We never know the impact of even the simplest signs of our faith.
Lived– Are we practicing what we preach? For all of us it is the reminder that an important part of each of our lives is the example of the faith lived out that we provide. What is the example I am providing to those who see me day in and day out be it in the classroom, at the grocery store, at work, or at home? It is one thing to talk about prayer and have religious images but do the people around me actually see me praying? I know a woman who saw her dad take time to kneel down and pray by the front door before he went off to work each day. For her it was an invaluable lesson of the faith lived out. It is an old saying that actions speak louder than words. When it comes to our faith it is just as true.
This coming year may we strive to have the faith be known, seen, and lived in us!