In Matthew 5:14-15, Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.”
The past school year was challenging one. Our schools faced obstacles that seemed insurmountable at times. Yet, as we prepare for a new school year in a few weeks, we reflect on the 2020-21 school year as a defining moment for the Catholic schools throughout our diocese where, despite every challenge caused by the pandemic, the light of our ministry continued to shine as a testament to our faith and trust in God.
This was demonstrated most notably in the unity and support our schools received from our school communities — the families, students, teachers and parishioners that worked together to ensure our children could attend schools full time, in person and with as little disruptions as possible. From the donations of materials and volunteer time, to cooperation with health screening and safety protocols, all worked to ensure a happy and successful school year for our students.
Our faith inspired throughout this past year, as our schools continued to worship at Mass and through other prayer opportunities in unique ways. Our students have offered virtual rosaries, prayer services and celebrations of the saints in ways that keep our reverence for God and allow all to participate through using technology and other tools. All of our schools continue to celebrate the Year of St. Joseph through a daily prayer and devotion to this saint, who will lead us closer to Jesus.
In academics, our schools made impressive gains in growth and achievement throughout this year, outpacing even a normal school year. Our teachers deserve special recognition for all their efforts in helping our students continue learning throughout the year and for their dedication and flexibility in greeting every day with optimism and positivity. The warmth and strength of our classrooms was truly a bright spot throughout this past year.
Another highlight of our ministry from this past year was each school’s creativity in continuing our commitment to service. Through reinventing popular traditions and creating new service opportunities, our schools were able to continue to teach our students how and why to give back through service, emphasizing the importance of stewardship and for care and compassion for each other and all members of our communities.
As we look toward the coming school year, we will continue to keep our light burning by focusing on the tradition of excellence that has allowed our schools to endure and thrive even amid the toughest challenges. We thank all who are involved in our ministry for their commitment to our schools and all those who have come before us and support us in prayer — these are the drops of oil that allow our lamps to keep burning brightly!
If you or someone you know is interested in enrolling or learning more about one of our Catholic schools, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://dorschools.org to join our Catholicschool family!
With prayers for a successful and faith-filled school year in 2021-22,