We were fortunate to have Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian on campus this week for our annual back to school liturgy. Bishop Christian led the school community in renewing our baptismal vows and the faculty in the reading of an oath of fidelity to the Church. As I was reading the oath, I was reminded of our responsibility to model the faith for our students and of my gratitude in sharing that mission with such committed teachers. Traditions like our opening Mass are so important to maintaining perspective and priorities. Already, it seems like the rush of sports and homework and throwing dinner in the crock pot has overtaken the days, and I feel fortunate to work in a school which constantly emphasizes that which is most important.
On Tuesday, Mr. John Riley kicked off our new language program, The Rooted Mind, for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Mr. Riley’s wife, Maureen, authored the program and he provided an interactive and entertaining presentation on how the program works. Display boards are already in use in classrooms and the elementary kids left the kick off excited about the challenge activities.
For those of you who are new to Mount Royal this year, we use a fantastic program across all grade levels called Education in Virtue developed by Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Each month we feature a different virtue and talk to the kids about what those virtues look like in practice. Students are recognized in front of their peers each week for being an example of virtue. During September, our school is focusing on gratitude and it is beautiful to see students express gratitude toward teachers and classmates. As a parent, I like to extend what the school is doing at home, knowing that teachers are talking to my kids about what they might do within their own family to practice virtue. So definitely ask your children about the virtue of the month as the year progresses – you’ll find it a great springboard to discussions about living a Christian life at home.
Derek always has a great quote in his letters, so I felt compelled to do the same! Something that jumped out at me last week came from an opening of the school year letter which our Superintendent of Schools sent to administrators within the diocese. He encouraged us to pray St. Teresa of Calcutta’s prayer, “God, I give you permission to do whatever you want with me”, and added a comment which both made me laugh and made me remember all we have to look forward to in the course of the school year:
Saying this prayer at the beginning of each year and at the start of each day is like climbing into the roller coaster, locking the safety bar, and getting prepared for the ride of your life. And when you get off the ride in June and look back, you’ll see the heights you achieved, how quickly you sped through the lows, the great distance you traveled, and the joy you felt by simply giving God permission to do whatever He wants with you and letting Him take you on such a thrilling ride!
Lastly, we apologize for our email issues over the past several days. Derek has worked hard to resolve the problem and we are back in business. We are just chasing down some of the part time teachers, but all full time faculty and administration can receive and send emails again. If any communication has fallen through the cracks, please do reach out again and we will respond.