On Tuesday, we gathered to pray the first rosary of the school year. I commented to the students that Tuesday marked the beginning of a one hundred and eighty day journey. I don't often think of this - which is quite befuddling - but teachers and students will soon be interacting before, during, and after school at such a high frequency that the relationship develops into a borderline parent-child dynamic. For me personally, this is no cause for worry or alarm. I really do consider each child here one of my own, and now that I am entering my eighth year at MRA, I sense the difference in myself when I interact with each individual child.
And yet, in another sense, no individual can replace a mother or a father. We can only do our best to impart the knowledge and virtue that each child is destined to receive. As many of you undoubtedly know already, Mother Teresa was canonized last Sunday. There are so many simple but profound statements made by her which are a direct reflection of our mission as educators and parents.
The quote I intend to keep in the forefront of my mind for this school year from St. Teresa is, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” This school is a part of my family.
In a world that is becoming more and more unstable, we need to surround children with the security of unconditional love. There is no real education without real sacrifice. St. Teresa also stated that, "a life not lived for others is not a life." Even though there were pockets of people who questioned her intentions and example, the vast majority of the world viewed St. Teresa as an incredibly happy and peaceable person.
I have been very impressed by the infectious charm of the senior class thus far. I don't know if my mind is playing tricks on me, but I have this sense that the initial excitement of the school year has a different flavor. The struggle is savoring the flavor long enough to make it through the year with that same joyful disposition with which we started. As a staff, we set some pretty high goals for the school this year, and we know that fortified in grace and because of God's faithfulness, we can become better missionaries of peace and love, just like St. Teresa.
I will leave you with a closing comment from the Back to School Night last evening, which can be accessed here.
"I always say that a teacher, a parent or a priest must develop the mentality of the long-distance runner. What do I mean? It is rare to see immediate results for our efforts. Sometimes the affirmation comes years later; sometimes, not at all.” - Fr Peter Stravinskas
Let us pray with St. Teresa, and permit God to do whatever he wants to with our school, our children, and even our own hearts.
Yours Truly In Christ,