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​Eagerly approaching the new school year with joy and faith

July 11, 2019 | posted by Marti West

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future

Eagerly approaching the new school year with joy and faith

Welcome back to a new school year! What a joyful time of year; filled with new beginnings and old friends. There is so much to look forward to: physical, academic, and spiritual milestones to achieve and celebrate at every age and grade level.

I pray that you eagerly approach this new school year with joy and faith, ready to learn and take on new challenges, and equally ready to offer that support to those around you. We are blessed to openly celebrate and share our common Catholic faith in our schools and in our daily lives.

As school administrators, teachers, parents and mentors, we want to help you live your faith in the world, to help you understand and act on the social dimensions of the gospel in your everyday life. That is the integral beauty and promise of a Catholic school education. That is the “special sauce” or “added value” that sets our schools apart from other educational institutions.

Recently, Pope Francis called on Catholic educators to “to help young people become active builders of a more fraternal and peaceful world.” Educational institutions are urged to “promote every man or woman in their entirety…”

Students: I ask you to open your hearts to the overwhelming grace in the shared culture of accompaniment in our schools. Your classmates do not only walk alongside you; they are accompanying you on the same journey, experiencing the sacraments side by side with you, openly celebrating your spiritual journeys as you all walk with Christ.

Parents and teachers: Our children look to us as models for Christ’s love for his fellow man. They see us welcome strangers in our parishes and schools, and they note how we treat the homeless and hungry. We must continue to strive to be worthy examples for our children and our communities.

Social doctrine is an integral part of our faith; we are compelled to hear and heed the Church’s call to serve those in need and work for justice and peace. We cannot truly call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ unless we take up this mission.

I have been impressed time and again by the interest, knowledge, and expressions of social justice by our children. Students of every age have taken it upon themselves to help those in our community in every way they can; with donations of food and clothing, charitable works, and countless acts of mercy and caring. I am immensely proud of our Catholic school communities’ response to those in need.

Through the open doors of our schools, we joyfully welcome each of you, a new generation of compassionate, intelligent stewards of our church, as we endeavor to guide and accompany you on your spiritual and educational paths.

God bless you,

Marti West

Superintendent of Catholic Schools

Archdiocese of San Antonio