Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! The Academy has come back to life with the return of little feet, excited voices and smiling students. It is so good to welcome you home!
When I was a child, I loved the start of the school year. I loved all the school supplies (I still do), going to get uniforms and the excitement of being in a new grade level. As I grew older, back-to-school held the fun of reconnecting with friends, having a locker to decorate as my ‘home base’ and the start of my soccer season. When I was a teacher, back-to-school translated into reconnecting with colleagues, sharing stories of vacations and conferences, and the exchange of new ideas those professional development opportunities afforded.
While I still find pleasure in each of these, I now see that back-to-school offers something even more special for students and especially each of us adults…it offers a fresh start. Back-to-school provides each of us a chance to begin anew. It is like a school version of New Year’s Eve…complete with an opportunity to make changes and express aspirations for the coming year.
So I ask you, as we enter into the 2018-2019 academic year, what are your hopes for this new year? As we each consider our personal path toward growth, what would you like to be able to do or know come next May? How will you grow in your relationship with God? In this year of celebration, what would make you happiest? What could you do to help others this year? What are your hopes for this beautiful school community?
Whether spoken aloud or held in the silence of our hearts…let us commit to keep these hope-filled prayers in mind and work together to make them grow and flourish. Please join me in this prayer first offered by Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ:
Loving God, unseen Companion of our life, give us faith and eager expectancy as we begin this fresh stage of our journey. Take from us all fear of the unknown and teach us to wrest treasures from darkness and difficulties. As the days come and go, may we find that each one is laden with happy opportunities and enriching experiences; and when this year reaches its completion, may our best hopes be more than ever fulfilled. Amen.
August 16, 2018