New school years have always brought an air of excitement. Everything is about new beginnings, new books, new shoes, new pencils, new tablets (for the “techy” inclined), new friends, new teachers, and so forth. New beginnings bring wonderful opportunities to grow, not only in mind and body, but also in grace and wisdom. But this can only happen if we pause and open our eyes and ears to receive the life giving newness.
As the new superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Vermont I am most grateful and excited about the new beginnings at the start of the 2016-2017school year. Catholic Schools go back centuries; steeped in tradition, teachings, prayers, solid education, and charitable works. Yet Catholic Schools are ever evolving, reaching students and families of today with the rich teachings of the Catholic Church in a new way. I invite each of us to embrace the opportunities of being renewed, for the young and not so young. Perhaps just listening more carefully to a Sunday Gospel, or reading your child’s religion/theology book to engage your family in a discussion of its meaning, or getting involved in the schools’ charitable drive.
These simple opportunities to see the same message in a new way is life transforming for all. Before we know it, in short time, we will be the witness in a world that seeks meaning, purpose, and guidance by the very renewed acts that we live and breathe throughout a school year. That is the gift of Catholic Education.
May this new School year of 2016-2017 be not only a NEW year for your child/student, but for all of us. This is my prayer and hope for all.
I look forward to meeting all of you throughout this year.
God’s abundant Grace,
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Burlington, Vermont