Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia
On Wednesday of Holy Week, as I left campus for the Easter break, I was eager to celebrate the sacred days of the Triduum and the wonder of the Resurrection. It had been a long winter and Lent, and I awaited the coming festivities with great anticipation. I was also looking a little further ahead to our return to campus twelve days later. I anticipated sunnier skies, warmer temperatures, revitalized teachers, and recharged students – a springtime renewal, of sorts. Our Lord, in his wisdom, mercy, and infinite generosity, has provided all this and so much more.
In the Lenten season, we take seriously the call to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We prepare the soil of our hearts for the resurrection that Our Lord wants to bring about in us. During the somber days of Lent, “Alleluia” is neither said nor sung. However, just before the gospel reading at the Easter Vigil mass, the priest intones “Alleluia” three times, getting louder each time – the first time we have heard that glorious word in 40 days!
“Alleluia.” What a joyful word! The time of sacrifice and sadness has passed and we encounter the world through the illumination of the Risen Lord.
Christ is risen from the dead! Alleluia! The resurrection is the pivotal point in the history of the human race. The resurrection changes everything! St. Paul tells us “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) If Jesus had not risen from the dead, he was just another gifted prophet…maybe even a false prophet. But, he rose from the dead, as only the God-man could! He is risen, we are redeemed, and anything is possible!
The weather during Easter week was glorious. Even more glorious were the faces of those young people in our community who received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation) within the past two weeks. The universal church expands and our community flourishes, as well. We are all blessed by their witness. I visited the third grade classroom the morning after many of them received their sacraments and their faces still carried the excitement, awe, and wonder they experienced the evening before. Their openness to grace overflows into blessings for the entire community.
Throughout our campus, there are other signs of renewal as well – fruits of the resurrection. Students are transforming into more mature versions of themselves, ready to step up to the next grade. Seniors are declaring their intentions as they venture out into adulthood for the first time. Teachers take the time to evaluate the richness of the educational progress made so far this year and plan how to best wrap up a year of successful learning. Field trips are planned! End of year activities have been scheduled and are eagerly anticipated. And last, but not least, administrators continue to evaluate the best means to provide a meaningful learning environment, now and in the future.
With regard to that, and the necessity of continually renewing and employing best practices in the classroom, we are happy to announce that we have been invited to administer the pilot CLT 3-6 exam. This is the Classical Learning Test for grades 3-6. The purpose of the CLT Assessments for grades 3-6 is to offer a summative, end-of-year assessment to students who are receiving a classical or traditional education. Because it assesses students according to the type of education we provide, these tests will provide more accurate outcomes than the traditional standardized tests. The CLT 3-6 will provide us with important feedback and data points that will help us evaluate our teaching practices and curriculum, and guide us in making adjustments, if necessary. It is a vehicle for renewal, if you will.
Finally, every year, during the last week of April, HEART (the parent-led group that supports our school), our families, and other community members overwhelm us with their generosity. Teacher appreciation week at Mount Royal Academy is a celebration of love, and we are humbled by the outpouring of appreciation we receive from all of you. Our teachers are incredibly grateful for your encouragement and sacrificial giving. Your partnership with us makes everything possible. Thank you so much. Please know that we remember you all as we gather together daily in prayer.
In this season of Alleluia, may we all be a source of refreshment and renewal for each other. He is risen, just as He said! Anything is possible! - Mrs. Lisa Sweet, Academic Dean