Catholic Schools Week is a time to celebrate our wonderful school community. At Padua, our celebration began this past weekend with our two Winter Balls. If walls could talk in any room, it should be our café! Each day of Catholic Schools Week, our fabulous Student Council will celebrate with a different activity that culminates in a Spirit Assembly on Friday.
On Wednesday, Bishop Malooly will join us for a multilingual Liturgy. Mass will be celebrated in many different languages. We will continue to learn about the life and faith of one of our patron saints, St. Francis de Sales. St. Francis de Sales was a man who lived under the full canopy of grace, knowing that his life and work was blessed AND ordered by Christ Jesus. Here are some of my favorite teachings adapted from the writings of St. Francis:
"Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life with fear; rather look upon them with strong hope that, as they arise, God whose child you are, will deliver you from them. Just trust in Him and He will continue to lead you safely through all things. Where you cannot walk, He will carry you in His Arms.
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow: the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Wither He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts."
Can you just imagine the magnificent gift that you and our teachers give to our students each day when we pray these words and see manifested the power of the Holy Spirit unleashed in their lives? I love to sit in our café for Mass at Padua and listen to over 600 sweet and glorious voices singing, "I will come to you in the silence, I will lift you from all your fear. You will hear my voice, I claim you as my choice, be still and know I am here. Do not be afraid I am with you. I have called you each by name. Come and follow me, I will bring your home; I love you and you are mine."
Catholic Schools Week was established in an effort to "market" Catholic schools to the public as a recruitment tool. In reality, it is a time to publicly proclaim that, as we kneel before our Lord, we are in the business of teaching His words of life and power to all children at all times in work and deed. Just marketing a school's activities seems such a puny endeavor, when in actuality we are boldly and without reservation proclaiming our Catholic faith, our love for each other, and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Padua Academy gives instruction in life - a life that has no ending.
Will you pray with me this week?
Dear Lord, whatever happens to us this week, help us to hold steadfastly to You and to Your peace with the firm and abiding knowledge that Your love is everlasting. You are our Father and we are Your beloved children.