I want to thank everyone for the many encouraging messages I have received throughout the day. It was 21 years ago today that I was ordained a deacon at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. The journey since then has been varied, and I am grateful for each new experience along the way.
This has been a difficult year. Leading an institution the size of Saint Albert Catholic Schools automatically brings challenges. However, as my leadership team embarked on this adventure together last summer, we had no idea that we would experience the tragic deaths of two young students, a pandemic that closed the school building for nearly three months, transitioning to online learning in two days, postponement and reconfiguration of our major fundraising event, creating an environment of joy and excitement for our graduates even with all the social distancing guidelines in effect, and so much more.
Diaconate ministry has an emphasis on works of charity. While most of my time is currently dedicated to the administrative responsibilities of Saint Albert, I know I have a responsibility to continue to look for ways to build bridges of trust and healing among the hurting segments of society. There are no simple solutions to the many social problems facing our country. That does not give me permission to simply throw up my hands in despair and do nothing. I must continue to strive to live out the two great commandments: Love God. Love neighbor. There is always room to grow in this endeavor.
Let us all work together to build the Kingdom of God. We do not need to travel to foreign lands to be missionaries. God's love and healing is needed right here in our midst.