Hello and welcome to November's message. With October and Halloween now in the rearview mirror and All Saints and All Souls Day upon us, I don't know about you, but for me, it is definitely a time to reflect on all of our loved ones whom we have lost this past year and to contemplate our own humanity and mortality. I am semi-gearing up this February for a landmark birthday somewhere between 50 and 70. This year more than ever, I realize that little things like the AARP mailers and the senior citizen discount signs might be meant for me rather than my parents! There's no doubt that each of us gets older every day, and hitting a number like 60 is daunting. So just as I said about reflecting on the lives of those we've lost, I'm focusing on how I live each day, especially this year. I once heard the great philosopher Garth Brooks say (by the way, Garth is about five days apart from me in actual age, so I relate to him even though he sings a little better than I do), each day when he wakes up, he thanks God for the gift of another day.
Garth then pledges to go out and expend every ounce of energy that day, living life to the fullest in whatever he does, doing the best that he can to spend his energy positively so that when he returns to the pillow at night, sleep comes easy. If given another day the next day, gratitude for another day comes easy as well. These are strong words to live by, and if you think about it in our Catholic school context, we are called to show signs of Christ's love with every interaction we have, especially here at our school.
I can honestly tell you that what I see and experience every day here on the Hill is that our educators are expending just about all of their energy each day to love, to mold, to educate, sometimes to chastise our children so that they can be the very best that they can be. Indeed, this is not an easy job, and it's not a perfect execution, but it is undoubtedly noble work. I have emphasized to our educators that we save energy and time for our families away from work. Otherwise, our families can come to resent the school for taking all of our time. Work-home balance is as essential to me as it was to my father, and I emphasize this regularly to all of our workers here. Two examples of our educators expanding the best of their energy in October were two truly fantastic events: our Evening of Excellence and our Open House held one week apart this past month. The energy and the smiles and the positive vibes from our crowd at both of those events were so clear, and the positive feedback was so overwhelming that it seemed that if we had offered it, people would have stayed the night! Partly I think people are very excited to get back together, but mostly we have a great product here at Cathedral High School, and we plan to make it better each day.
We take Blessed Basil Moreau's charge very seriously that the mind cannot be educated at the expense of the heart. With that in mind, our Chaplain, Fr. Emmanuel, is expanding our sacramental opportunities here on campus. We offer morning Mass Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7:40 a.m. We also provide Mass Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. In addition, Fr. Emmanuel is now offering daily Masses at 11:15 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. He is also making himself available each day for adoration and reconciliation. As you know, of all the beautiful things we do in this school, only a Catholic priest can offer the sacraments, and therefore we are extra grateful for these opportunities to receive God's grace for our students.
Another way to educate the hearts of our students is NCYC. If you do not know about the National Youth Conference, NCYC, and you have a teen, you should. Every other year, this national conference takes place right here in Indianapolis! This conference has the highest rate of positively influencing teens to live a life in Christ. Our new and dynamic Campus Minister, Dave Neeson, is one of the speakers at this year's event. One of the keynotes, Fr. Leo Patalinghug, will visit Cathedral on Wednesday, November 17th. Fr. Leo is one of the best presenters I have ever seen in engaging young people and moving their hearts in a positive inclination toward Jesus. If this sounds interesting to you, you can check out Fr. Leo at platinggrace.com and see for yourself, or you can register your child for the NCYC conference, or simply ask them on the night of the 17th how Fr. Leo was! We all get just one chance to raise our children, and in my view, pouring as much of the good stuff, our Faith, is vital in getting them (and us) to heaven one day!
In conclusion, I would like to share with you a special reading from the monthly Magnificat about the Saints and All Saints Day:
As marvelous as Christ's miraculous deeds were when he walked the earth-healing the sick and raising the dead-consider the still more wondrous signs Christ has worked ever since, as the Savior and Redeemer of man, in his saints: the ordinary women and men he raises in every age to give their lives in service to God and neighbor. The patient and joyful heroism of the saints, sustained through all manner of adversity, testifies to God's quiet yet powerful action in those who are faithful to him. With their lives before us as an example, we confidently ask the saints to intercede with God that we may imitate their virtues just as they imitated Christ. All you angels and saints, pray for us!
I appreciate your support of our noble mission. Go Irish!
Rob Bridges, Ph.D.
President, Cathedral High School