Get insight and information from top Bishop Lynch High School leaders each month via both a president’s message and a principal’s message. These monthly columns will give you a glimpse into the what, why and how of the school.
November is a time of gratitude and remembrance as we celebrate in our country, Thanksgiving, and the symbolism of the fruits of the harvest as well as the commemoration in our faith traditions through the solemnities of All Saints, All Souls and the Dia De Los Muertos. In each of these traditions and practices, we are called to give thanks, to take stock of our blessings and to recognize the bounty of God’s goodness in our lives especially as it relates to the gifts of others in our lives both living and dead. We certainly have encountered much in the last nine months that might challenge us to look deeper into the heart of what matters in our lives. As we break for the coming Thanksgiving holiday, I would offer the following reflection point for the Bishop Lynch community:
This fall, Dr. Riley and I initiated a Friday faith reflection with each other to help us continue on our own faith journeys of leadership in our respective roles of president and principal. I referenced in my September column the document that we have been reading together and reflecting on weekly from Saint John Paul II’s “A Meditation on Givenness.” In this document, it is beautifully described how God gifts those people in our lives to us and as cherished gifts we should look through the lens of “givenness.” Each person that we encounter, both living and deceased, adds to the tapestry of our journeys. Additionally, Saint John Paul the Great writes, “God has given me many people…Always, when he gave them to me, he also tasked me with them.” This deep reality of care for each other as gift is a hallmark of every great community. Over the coming weeks, I will be working to unpack this understanding of what it means to be tasked with each other. It certainly is not lost on me during these unprecedented times the necessity to be actively in pursuit of the good for the other. As we gather this November, albeit in modified ways, let us look at each person we encounter as a gift for whom we have been tasked.
This Thanksgiving, I hope and pray that you will continue to see the giftedness of those in your life today and in the past who have helped you recognize the love of God in this world.
Last Sunday, we celebrated World Mission Sunday across the globe. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops describes the history and intent of this annual recognition:
In 1926 Pope Pius XI instituted Mission Sunday for the whole Church with the first worldwide Mission Sunday collection taking place in October 1927....That day is celebrated in all the local Churches as the feast of catholicity and universal solidarity so Christians the world over will recognize their common responsibility with regard to the evangelization of the world.
A number of years ago, I began a journey of deepening my own understanding of what “mission” means. A group of school leaders of which I was a part began making annual trips to El Paso to participate in the Border Awareness Experience (BAE). The BAE is an immersion program into the border culture comprising the communities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. We explored issues such as poverty, violence, immigration, economic development, and social justice, all within the context of the Catholic faith and this call to mission. We heard the stories of the families who fled violence and talked with them about their dreams for their children. We exchanged greetings with citizens from Juarez at the border fence. We met with Border Patrol agents and heard about their work and the challenges they face. We listened and we learned.
Faithful to Catholic Tradition and to our Dominican heritage of scholarship and service, Bishop Lynch High School promotes the development of the total person by bringing together a diverse community in a rigorous, college preparatory environment where students are taught to strive for excellence, seek truth, and work for justice in the world. - Founded in 1963