Day 1 – Community: Sometimes the word “community” connotes syrupy notions of togetherness that can be too “Kumbaya” for some people. Our focus on community might be better understood as family—that is, a mutual commitment to serve the personal good of each member and the common good of the school as a whole. That’s something that only the Holy Spirit can achieve, and only by opening our hearts to His work in us. The Holy Spirit doesn’t wait for us to program community into our school life, and He won’t be confined to our attempts to do so. When we open our hearts to the miraculous movement of God in our school family, the results will be far more profound than we could plan. To be open to God in this way requires trust. Let’s pray for that.
Day 2 – Student: Students are why we have this school. More than any other school I’ve seen, Lumen Christi invests in relationships with students. The smallness of our classes and the school in general facilitate a genuine rapport between teachers and students, but it’s the caring and love of our teachers that creates a warm and nurturing environment in which to learn. It is necessary and good to promote our distinctives as a school, but much of the most endearing qualities of Lumen Christi derive from the affection we have for our young people.
Day 3 – Nation: Whether it’s politically correct to say this or not, our nation is a beacon to the world. We are proud of the work God has done in our land, and don’t hesitate to proclaim “American exceptionalism.” We encourage patriotism here. This is a “safe place” to be proud of our American heritage and way of life.
Day 4 – Vocation: We set aside time in the Church on Thursday to discuss vocation with the whole student body. The primary message was the universal call to holiness, and the importance of prayer, love, obedience, and virtue in unfolding God’s call in our lives. When we learn at an early age to give our lives to God in these four ways, our specific vocation, and any apostolate it opens to us, becomes clear. We stressed that vocation is God’s calling, and because God knows us better than we know ourselves, developing all our personal gifts (interests, personality qualities, talents…) in family and school makes us fully available for God’s plan.
Day 5 – Faculty and Staff: Our faculty is second to none. That bears repeating: our faculty is as effective, and perhaps more effective, as any other teaching staff. We talk a lot about our small budget, and how many financial sacrifices our teachers make to be here, but there is no sacrifice in quality. Their dedication is unmatched, and there is no question they’re here for the right reasons. Our teachers see this work as a ministry, and we pray that they will be fulfilled in their work. We give our teachers a lot of freedom to be themselves in the classroom knowing that God called them here because of their personal gifts (see #4 above). I know from many years of teaching that teachers flourish when they know they’re supported. Thank you for backing them up so well.