A fitting feast day begin again

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world

Here we are, back again! Another school year commences, and another round of hope abounds! What is the source of our hope? It is the Triumph of the Cross, a most fitting feast day for us to observe and direct our attention towards at the start of an academic year. 

“We are celebrating the feast of the cross which drove away darkness and brought in the light. As we keep this feast, we are lifted up with the crucified Christ, leaving behind us earth and sin so that we may gain the things above. So great and outstanding a possession is the cross that he who wins it has won a treasure. Rightly could I call this treasure the fairest of all fair things and the costliest, in fact as well as in name, for on it and through it and for its sake the riches of salvation that had been lost were restored to us.” - St. Andrew of Crete

This notion of ascending with Christ is worth noting as our school community approaches its thirtieth anniversary. How can we as a community enter that sanctified air where our salvation hung? How can we better unite with Christ and thereby strengthen our union with each other? How can we discern God’s will for our school in a prayerful dialogue that emanates from our shared acceptance of the Triumph of the Cross?

We are all members of Christ’s mystical body and as such, we all have a distinct role in salvation history. There is no role less important than another because all of history is shaped by God’s providential power. Since 2009, I have been privileged to see his hand intimately influencing every facet of our mission. At this time, I am again filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all that God has done for this school, and I am so eager to work with all of you to see it from God’s perspective: His wisdom is beyond all human wisdom, and it is something that we should never be afraid to seek out with purpose, prudence, and prayer. 

No one could conceive of the cross as a tool of redemption. In a similar sense, I am not sure any one of us can completely conceive where God plans to take this school from here. 

Because of that, I keep thinking and saying: this vision needs to be for all of us and from all of us. The cross was for everyone after all! 

We are therefore asking all members of our school community - parents, students, staff, alumni, and benefactors - to complete this community-wide survey by September 30th

A team of strategic planning specialists will then analyze and prepare the data for listening sessions in October, where again, everyone in the community will be invited to review and discuss our collective vision for the future of our school based on the findings in the survey. The finalized dates and times will be announced in our next newsletter, but please make it a priority to attend during the week of October 17th. 

What makes this mission so sacred? I’ve been re-reading John Paul the Great’s letter to families from 1981, and even though this letter was written forty years ago, its relevance cannot be overlooked: 

“In a society shaken and split by tensions and conflicts caused by the violent clash of various kinds of individualism and selfishness, children must be enriched not only with a sense of true justice, which alone leads to respect for the personal dignity of each individual, but also and more powerfully by a sense of true love, understood as sincere solicitude and disinterested service with regard to others, especially the poorest and those in most need. The family is the first and fundamental school of social living: as a community of love, it finds in self-giving the law that guides it and makes it grow. The self-giving that inspires the love of husband and wife for each other is the model and norm for the self-giving that must be practiced in the relationships between brothers and sisters and the different generations living together in the family. And the communion and sharing that are part of everyday life in the home at times of joy and at times of difficulty are the most concrete and effective pedagogy for the active, responsible and fruitful inclusion of the children in the wider horizon of society.” 

From where I sit, as I keep seeing more faces and growing families join our school community, the more hopeful I become that we can sustain a truly humanizing and eternally fulfilling culture! Thank you all for a fantastic start to the school year!

Yours truly in Christ,

Derek Tremblay