Good morning everyone and welcome to today’s Spiritual Development Day. Today is a day that highlights our difference as a Catholic School System. Our learning is not academic focused, but rather faith based. Our minds will likely be challenged but it is more important that our hearts are moved and our spirits our nourished. Today is our last Spiritual Development Day in our current 3-Year Faith Plan.
Many of us remember when we began our faith plan in 2013 at the Enmax with David Wells. He introduced us to our first year’s theme of “Taking Our Place at the Table” and invited us all to come to the table. ALL, was a central theme, not just some and so we were challenged to look at who was not at our table and invite and welcome them.
We then moved to our 2nd year where we focused on “Walking Together.” A very visual theme reminding us we are all God’s people, “created in the image and likeness of God” and as such called to walk together- at times leading, at times near the end and at other times in the middle. We walk as one faith community, all welcome, all different and unique, but all together!
And finally we concluded with creating a “Horizon of Hope” in our division. I’m always reminded of the words of Elder Delphine Goodstriker, “We were given a heart so that we can give.” And so our final theme is about creating a horizon of hope for our students and their families and hope for each other. In our belief, hope is not simply wishing things get better. Hope comes from faith, a faith where we may never understand the hand of God but we must always trust the heart of God!
Remembering the words of Pope Francis, “Today amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and be men and women that bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope.” That has been the focus of this year.
And then we were gifted with the Jubilee Year of Mercy. And together with our faith plan, we are called to continue our attention to our lonely, our poor, our disenfranchised and the most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matt 25:35
Mercy given! Mercy received!
Throughout the day, I ask that you constantly remind yourself of our journey during our 3-Year Faith Plan and contemplate on your response as an individual and your response to our students during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.