These types of gatherings remind me of the blessings of God. The gift of love between a man and a woman which brings forth new life is not something we should take for granted. As I watched all of the young kindergarten students enter church it was a solemn reminder that these 8th grade graduates were once in their places. The transformation that takes place in eight years, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually is no small feat. There are many graces and blessings during these formative years.
The blessing of receiving an education is phenomenal. While we may consider it with little regard in our country, the reality is that a good education is a huge factor in our adult lives. It will make a difference on many different levels--economically, socially, and spiritually--just to name a few. If the 8th grade graduates don't understand this now, eventually they will come to see the value and the blessing of their education.
The pastor and other clergy members have been a tremendous blessing to the students through the years. This is not something I mention lightly. There is a positive impact on the lives of these young people because of the care, concern, and love extended by Church leadership. The love of Christ has been demonstrated in and through these ministers to the children, their parents, and the teachers and staff as well. They have helped create some milestone memories.
Teachers--what can I say? Your commitment, dedication, and professionalism make our world a better place. Thank you for your ministry. Your hours of lesson planning, grading, meeting with parents, preparing newsletters, compiling report cards, facilitating extracurricular activities, and monitoring recess, lunch, and crosswalks all demonstrate your willingness to give and not count the cost. All of the little things you do which most of us never see--thank you! You are frequently the milestone memories of the students.
Support Staff--what can I say? You make a lot of things happen on a daily basis and we just assume it happens on its own. You are the spokes on the wheel that keep things moving efficiently. You may not hear it very often, but I want to say thank you for the many ways you make our schools better. In the creation of milestone memories your jobs may be made a little more difficult. Office workers are signing people in and out of the school and the maintenance staff watches as the facility takes a beating from all the "fun" taking place. I am especially reminded of this when I see the principal and P.E. teacher being taped to the wall. A little chaotic, but memorable! In the end, more scrapbook moments have been captured.
Principals-- what can I say? Take a day or two off after school ends and then get back at it to start preparing for this fall. Just joking! Your role as the spiritual and academic leader of the school is no small task, and the burden of responsibility which you bear is huge. Please know of my gratitude for your commitment to Catholic education. While the students may not frequently remember you as a milestone memory, your role behind the scenes has made it all possible for them. They may not realize it for a few years yet, but your presence has impacted them immensely. Thank you for enriching their lives through your administrative expertise.
Finally, I offer a word of gratitude and encouragement to the parents of our students. Being a parent is no small undertaking and the challenges are real. May God continue to bless each of you as you live out your vocation as the first and primary educator of your child in the faith!
Have a Blessed Summer!