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January 28, 2024

We will be celebrating Catholic Schools Week this week. I am deeply grateful for our Sacred Heart School and our mission in our community. I am often inspired by what I hear students say, how I see them living their faith, and how growing in their faith has helped them to approach every aspect of life differently, with the knowledge of Christ right beside them. I will never forget the words of a graduating 6th grader. When asked to share some of her favorite memories from her time at Sacred Heart she said this: “I didn’t know who God was before I came here.”

 

This is our mission. Our teachers do an excellent job teaching, but more importantly they do so in an integrated way. Jesus is meant to be a part of every aspect of my life—what a blessing that can be in the experience at school of our students.  They can be taught it, see it in action, and begin to practice it. I see them striving to live this exhortation from St. Paul—words for each of us who bear the name of Christian!

 

Colossians 3:5-14: “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming [upon the disobedient]. By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way. But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.

 

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.”

 

My visits to the school are always an encouragement and a

challenge to make sure my life is so integrated. The lessons they learn, of putting off the old self and putting on the new self that grace makes possible in us, are never one and done. No, they are learned and practiced again and again, through successes and failures. It is frankly inspiring to see both their successes and failures because it reminds me and all of us to keep on learning those same lessons. Even if we fail, that grace is still present and the Lord picks us up if we allow Him. Seeing them is such a great reminder for all of us to make sure we haven’t stopped learning and practicing those same lessons that should mark our lives.

 

Many thanks to our teachers who pour themselves out. Many thanks to all who have supported and continue to support Sacred Heart School in our mission. There is an open house this Sunday, the 28 th following our 11am Mass. Please stop by for a visit and see our beautiful school!

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

PS—Every single Catholic Schools week since I have been here has included at least one snow day—much to the delight of our students. We will see what this year brings!

 

The St. Mary on the Lake Parish Office will be closed next week. I will be in the office in the morning on Thursday.

 

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