This coming weekend, we celebrate Catholic Education Sunday. Each year we set aside this special day to celebrate the gift of Catholic Education here in the province of Alberta. This year’s theme, as proclaimed by the Bishops of Alberta, is, “Open Wide the Doors”What a wonderful theme our Bishops have proclaimed this year. Open wide the doors speaks to our desire to welcome into our schools ALL children whose parents seek a Gospel permeated environment. And that is what Catholic Education is and needs to continue to be about. It is much more than just programming and buildings, it is about our Catholic faith, our Catholic tradition.
Catholic Education also speaks of partnership. We are blessed that Catholic Education is publicly funded but need to recognize that it requires the involvement and support of the home and the parish. This triad of strength allows Catholic schools not only to exist but to flourish. In Holy Spirit we have developed an excellent relationship with our school councils, our parents and our parishes. We are grateful for this continued support. It is another reason why we continue to maintain such high standing in our surveys and our results.
Our division began our journey in a three year faith plan last year. This year, in our second year, our theme is “Do You Love Me?” It is the question Jesus asks Peter in John’s gospel. And it is the same question that we are asked in Catholic Education. Our response is to open wide the doors and it requires each of us to learn to surrender our lives fully to Jesus. We are called to be witnesses and allow the love of Christ to flow freely over us like a waterfall.
Catholic Education calls us to seek wisdom. Wisdom penetrates our hearts and our homes allowing us to see the light of Christ. It is wisdom that acts as the fuel to light our paths toward the kingdom. Wisdom is radiant and unfading and so must our Catholic Schools. We are signs of hope when we let wisdom shine brightly and end the darkness that surrounds us. Catholic Schools need to continue to be beacons of hope for our students and communities by opening the doors wide.
As we celebrate Catholic Education Sunday, I ask that you pray for our Holy Spirit staff – that they continue to fulfill their mission of offering education that is fully permeated with Gospel values; that they continue to surrender their lives to Jesus; and finally that they continue to seek wisdom to infuse the love of Christ in our students’ and communities’ hearts and souls.