This week our beloved school ends a year unlike any other. We have much to be thankful for. Our awesome new principal, along with the administration, teachers, and staff have done a remarkable job. In the midst of a pandemic, they have continued to teach a solid Catholic education and have been flexible, compromising, collaborative, thoughtful, and yes, exhausted. They have truly poured out themselves for the students and their families. But our families, too, have been wonderful. You have been understanding during this entire year and we all have had to take a step back and learn how to go on during this pandemic. Visitation is a special place. I think through these hardships, we will be stronger for it (yes, Mrs. Steiert - VISI strong).
I also want to thank Sister Diane for the wonderful job she has done for our beloved PREP program as they were virtual the entire year but still taught our children the faith, overcoming every obstacle. We have had First Holy Communion and First Penance and Confirmation. Our PREP teachers have had to navigate the world of virtual learning with great grace and toil. Thank you to them.
When we look back on this educational year - we can look at it two ways. The first would be to simply joke and chalk it up to a time in our lives when we had to give up so much of our ordinary lives. The time we had to miss in person learning and important formative years. The time we could not go to parties or CYO events or dances. There was simply so much we could not do. We can look at all of that with downcast spirits and wish we could have it back, which we never can. The second way we can look at it boils down to this: we cannot be authentically Christian, authentically Catholic, without the Cross. This year enabled us to be more Catholic. You can see this in the way in which our VISI family has supported one another during the pandemic. The sacrifices everyone has had to make has brought us closer to the Cross of Christ. We cannot take suffering and sacrifice out of our lives and be good Catholics. It is always through the Cross that Resurrection is promised.
There are people who have lost their lives to this pandemic. People who have lost family members and friends. People who have lost jobs and their sense of belonging. The people of Visitation’s sacrifices and prayers have been the support beams of our house of Faith. I thank you. I encourage you to see this year as an important year of growth and to be grateful. Saint Paul says it the best in Galatians:
“But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Again, thank you for this past school and PREP year.
May the Lord give you His peace,