THEME FOR THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR:
ANCHORED IN THE EUCHARIST
This year as we focus on our students, this young generation of Catholics, we hope to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus especially in how they encounter him at Sunday Eucharist. We have at our fingertips some great resources to provide insight and inspiration for this to happen. Using some wonderful role models, whom we call saints, we will discuss throughout this year that Eucharist is central to our identity as Catholics, and our relationship with the Lord is nourished primarily in our participation in attending Mass on a regular basis. Some of those resources of inspiration include:
St. Brendan and the Eucharist
In the book, A Desert in the Ocean: The Spiritual Journey According to St. Brendan the Navigator by David Adam, he states that Brendan’s journey was not only about venturing in a boat from place to place, to explore and to discover whatever was in the mysterious unknown. His journey was also a liturgical journey navigating from Church season to Church season and holy day to holy day to discover what is hidden in the unknown mystery of our God. Each time we engage God in Sunday Eucharist we too set out on an adventure to discover, sometimes dramatically and other times slightly or subtly, another aspect of God’s life. Every aspect of the Mass is capable of expressing who God is for us and who we are in God. It is especially through our liturgical calendar of saints’ days and holy days and through our liturgical year of seasons like Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time that each year we journey deeper into the life, death, and Resurrection of Christ. All this brings depth of meaning to our daily living, dying, and rising now and eventually in eternal life to come.
St. Ita and the Eucharist
Our very own St. Brendan had some major influences in his life. These were people who helped him on every level, especially spiritually. One person who took care of him in his youth was St. Ita. She was St. Brendan’s school teacher. The technology suite in the school is named in her honor and our students and faculty have a good sense of her story. She has a great connection to our theme for the year. She was certainly a bold individual who defied her parents in wanting to become a religious nun. She founded a convent which grew in notoriety and spiritual direction because of her leadership. She then founded a school for children and several of her students have been recognized as saints. Our faculty reflection, guided through St. Ita, offered us the challenge to be just as bold. This year we take up the challenge to see in our students their ability for the sacred, the holy, the call of God in their lives, and to help them to become saints. In our role as “teacher,” as another St. Ita for them today, this is what we have to offer to our students as long as they are under our influence. One way to do this is to encourage within them the encounter they are guaranteed to have with Christ through the celebration of the Sacraments of the Church.
Our Lady of Knock and the Eucharist
The apparition that happened in Ireland in the small town of Knock, was Eucharistic in nature. Every individual who was seen, represents some aspect of the Mass. St. Joseph with his head bowed shows the reverence that is called for in the Mass. With her hands raised in surrender and abandonment to God, Mary uses the same posture that we use when we pray the Lord’s Prayer together. She stands in front of our church as a witness to how we should approach Christ in the Eucharistic celebration. St. John the Evangelist represents the Word of God. The Lamb of God resting on the altar speaks of a redeeming sacrifice. Each figure tells us about the Eucharist. Each one offers to the suffering people of Ireland at the time that in the Mass heaven and earth are joined together to show our God present in every aspect of our lives and in all that we go through. This year, we pray through the intercession of Our Lady of Knock, that our school families may be just as joined to Christ’s life that we share in the Eucharist weekend after weekend after weekend. What a journey it is, and what a journey it will be; happy new school year!
Fr. Tom Woost