While I cannot control what happens in the political bubble among the Washington elites, I can choose to make my little corner of the world a brighter place. I am grateful to be connected with a school that strives to do that on a daily basis as well. Here at Saint Albert Catholic Schools we begin each day with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. We acknowledge our complete dependence upon God, and we acknowledge that we live in a country where we are free to practice our faith. That is no small matter.
The steps leading up from the Sheryl K. Johnson Child Care Center to the main level of the elementary school were adorned recently in a way that captured some of our values and sentiments. (See photo above.) Can you imagine what our society would look like if we embraced and lived these attributes across the country?
"We are real." In a world of fake news, we could use some genuine behavior. Whether it is a Hollywood awards show, or a Washington, D.C. political stunt, staged performances expose the hypocrisy that surrounds us. Do you want to go to a conference on climate change? Go get in your personal jet and fly to the conference. Seriously? Can you not see the disconnect? Be real.
"We make mistakes." If we are being real, we are able to admit that we make mistakes. This allows for growth and improvement.
"I'm sorry." How far will these words take us in our relationships with one another?
"We give second chances." How many of us want to be judged by God based upon our worst day? Thankfully, God forgives us and gives us second chances. Are we willing to do the same thing with the people around us?
"We give hugs." It is especially fun to see a young child break ranks from their orderly line to run over and hug an older sibling as they pass in the hallway. The pure and innocent joy expressed between siblings is truly uplifting.
"We forgive." It isn't always easy, but that is what we strive to do.
"We have fun." There is enough heartache in the world. It is okay to have fun. School can be stressful, but I hope students, teachers, and parents can all find a way to have fun in the midst of the demands of daily living.
"We do silly things." Accomplishing great things is important, but it is okay for children (and adults) to be silly once in a while. Let's bring joy to one another by living with energy and enthusiasm.
"We are family." The one word I hear over and over again to describe Saint Albert Catholic Schools is "family." There is a connection here. It is not just the beautiful tradition that is in place. It is the ability to look toward the future with hopes and aspirations for all who are connected to the school. We want the best for one another.
"We love." Scripture admonishes us to love one another as Jesus loves us. That is no small undertaking, but it is the ideal for which we strive. When you put 800 people together in a building for a whole day, there is a potential for conflict to arise. Add to that equation all of the parents, grandparents, parishioners, and others who are invested in the school in one way or another, and you are talking about a lot of people. How many lives do we impact on a daily basis when we choose to spread love? The potential is huge.
My dear readers, I encourage you today to be positive. Take the "steps" necessary to grow in virtue. Do not become content with mediocrity. Strive for holiness. Pray. Meditate upon the Sacred Scriptures. Put your faith into action. Be a saint!