Returning to school transfigured

“And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. “ Matt 17:2 

This past weekend we celebrated the Transfiguration of Jesus. As Peter, James, and John observe Jesus’ garments become blindingly white and his face luminous, they are unknowingly witnesses to Jesus’ coming triumph over death! They are given a glimpse of the glory that awaits Jesus at his Resurrection.  They are witnesses to hope.  

It was, to say the least, a profoundly moving experience for the Apostles. So much so, that Peter, in awestruck wonder, offers to build three booths to commemorate the experience. However, there was to be no lingering on the mountain after this event.  The scripture goes on to say, “As they were coming down the mountain…” (Matt 17:9)   No matter how profound or moving the experience, this is a reminder that we need to always go back to our everyday lives – to our vocations.  But when we do so, we must go back as a changed person.  We must be transfigured.

The Transfiguration is an apt image to ponder as we prepare to welcome students back to school. 

The dictionary defines transfigure as “to transform into something more beautiful or elevated,” so transfiguration is a specific and higher form of transformation.

Every type of education hopes to transform the student from unknowing to knowledgeable.  A classical, Catholic education, however, goes even further, as it seeks to transform the whole child, body, mind, and spirit to “something more beautiful or elevated.”  It hopes to animate the mind with the capacity to not only “know” but to desire knowledge and search out truth. It seeks to inspire curiosity, wonder, and awe.  Above all, it seeks to imbue the student with the firm conviction that they are a beloved child of God and help them recognize and live according to the dignity that title carries.

When I look back over the past three years that I have been at Mount Royal Academy, I recognize transfigurations that have taken place in our school. Yes, our policies and procedures, and even our curriculum have all undergone improvements and refinements.  Teachers continually look for ways to improve their skill sets. But the most exciting transformations have been in our students. A struggling student becomes an enthusiastic, independent learner; a young lady leaves pettiness behind and grows in grace; a young man with no faith background, on his own, embraces the Church. I am honored to have the opportunity to witness these transformations, to watch the hand of God at work in our school and in our students.

Here we are again, ready to embark on a new year of learning, personal growth, challenges, successes, and yes, even failures.  I pray that we can open our hearts to accept whatever comes our way this year, and let it transform us into “something more beautiful and elevated.”

Soak up these last precious days of summer!

Rest, relax, and enjoy!

I look forward to seeing your smiling faces once again, and journeying together to discover what our Lord has in store for us this year!

Mrs. Lisa Sweet
Academic Dean