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From the Head of School

padua-homepage-mrs-mann-2Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

Last Thursday was quite a surprising day! It started off as usual – driving through White Clay from Pennsylvania to Kirkwood Highway. I was really looking forward to seeing my students in my Advocacy Program for Success (APS) for the first time this year. I decided that the best way to start the year’s conversation was to serve donut holes! Nothing new or different about this, but as the girls say when telling me a story, “Just wait for it!” I placed my order on the drive-thru speaker and continued up to the window with money in hand. The cashier informed me that my order was free! The person in the car in front of me paid for my donuts and my large latte with a double shot of espresso! I thought that the espresso would get the old heart beating stronger, but it was nothing compared to the joy that a stranger gave to me that morning. Naturally I paid it forward by picking up the tab for the driver behind me. I wonder just how long the chain lasted – strangers passing on JOY early one morning!

Pope Francis’ formal statement on living the Christian faith is entitled The Joy of the Gospel. He concluded his introduction with a powerful statement from Pope Benedict XVI: “Being a Christian is not a result of an ethical choice or lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”

As believers, our Christian faith provides all of us with a life-changing encounter with the person of the risen Christ. Pope Francis repeatedly emphasizes that we are called to have a personal relationship with Christ. This is far more important than the lofty rules and edicts of our Church – all churches. Living in communion with Jesus Christ gives each of us a direction in our lives. It provides so much JOY as we are called into a deeper relationship and dependence on our Lord. This personal relationship creates in us a need to have an ever-increasing and deepened conversation in prayer and understanding of our life, no matter the difficulties. This relationship with Jesus – this conviction – is the essence of JOY. How fitting it is that our Pope Francis entitled his first encyclical The Joy of the Gospel.

I submit to you today that Jesus works through His people in sharing this Gospel JOY. A person’s kindness in the car in front of me at Dunkin Donuts caused me to say that morning, “Amen, Jesus. Thank you for my JOY. I feel you in my life and in others. Hallelujah and yes, Jesus, I will pay YOUR JOY forward!”

As we look for the JOY of Jesus in our relationship with Him, Pope Francis calls us to a “new freshness or awakening” in our faith. In this new faith, we are assured that Jesus is with us. We are never alone. And it is this energy that impels us forward to “pay the JOY forward,” or, in the words of our Church, to evangelize with our words and deeds. I will probably never know that person in the car in front of me last Thursday, but I will be forever grateful for that small act of kindness and the reminder of the love of Jesus. Will you pay your JOY of the Lord forward this week?

Let us pray as we draw near to the World Meeting of Families.

World Meeting of Families Prayer

God and Father of us all, in Jesus your Son and our Savior, you have made us your sons and daughters in the family of the Church.

May your grace and love help our families in every part of the world be united to one another in fidelity to the Gospel.

May the example of the Holy Family, with the aid of your Holy Spirit, guide all families, especially those most troubled, to be homes of communion and prayer and to always seek your truth and love in your love.

Through Christ our Lord,

Amen

Have a joyful week!

Mrs. Mann

Padua Academy 905 N. Broom Street
Wilmington, DE 19806
(302) 421-3739

Rooted in the Catholic faith, Padua Academy offers young women a transformational college preparatory education, challenging them to live Christ-centered lives of leadership and service.