The Right Kind of Change

Dear Families,

Our school continues to gather national attention, and most recently, even some international attention. A school leader from Australia emailed me just yesterday asking to visit us during May. Our school was also spotlighted in a publication from the NCEA entitled, "Your School's Catholic Identity".  Although I have yet to read it, it is my understanding that the report is primarily based on an interview with a former high school student. I find this most humbling since sitting in my position, I can see where there are opportunities for improvement.

At a conference a couple of summers ago sponsored by the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, I was privileged to participate in the sacred liturgy with Fr. Paul Scalia - the son of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. It is hard not to marvel at their collective wisdom.

Change for change's sake it not in itself good. Here is what Fr. Scalia articulates for us:

"Several years ago, I saw a car with the bumper sticker: If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. I completely agreed with that sentiment. But judging by the car’s other bumper stickers, probably not for the same reasons as its driver. At any rate, that unknown driver and I shared this conviction: something has to change.

In fact, everyone agrees on that simple truth. We see and experience disharmony and conflict throughout the world, in our country, in our communities, and within ourselves. We rightly conclude that things are not as they should be. They are out of place, off-kilter. Something has to change.

Of course, as with that driver and me, we do not agree on what needs to change or how. Most of the time we think the problem is outside of ourselves. If only we can control and fix everything around us, then things would be set right. If we can fix the economy, the environment, the government, or whatever. . .then there will be peace. If I had a different job, or house, or wife, or body. . .then I would be happy. Of course, no one can control everything, and trying to do so doesn’t bring peace. It only makes a person more anxious – and annoying.

It is said that, when a London newspaper asked Chesterton to contribute a piece addressing the question: What’s wrong with the world; he sent a simple reply: I am. Although most likely apocryphal, the story captures Chesterton’s wit and, more importantly, the proper Christian response to what must change. We must."

One presidential candidate has been harping that the rising generation is the most progressive generation in human history. I often wonder if the progressivism that is so revered is actually good progress? I also wonder how much these progressive ideas really respect the dignity of the human person, and for educational purposes, whether or not progressive education leads to a fully flourishing society?

Even when I wonder about the veracity of these new ideas, I often find an anchor in the timeless truths that we discuss in our classrooms. 

Yours truly in Christ,

Derek Tremblay