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A New School Year

Catholic Review Column: Review in the Pew

Monday marks the beginning of a new school year. Though it feels like it comes earlier every year, the start of school seems to usher in fall, a new season, and the return to the normalcy of routine, albeit an all-too-busy one for most.

Unfortunately, that first day of school also brings with it “butterflies” for many students—both those beginning school for the first time as well as those entering a new grade. It also conjures many memories for those of us far removed from our own school days but not so far that we can’t remember the feelings we had when that inevitable day rolled around at the end of each summer.

And students aren’t the only ones feeling a little anxiety that first day. Moms and dads sending their little ones to school for the first time will experience conflicting emotions as their children embark on a new and exciting phase in their lives. Similar emotions will be felt by those veteran parents whose son or daughter goes off to college for the first time, especially those who will be leaving home.

Underneath all these emotions is the realization, even if it’s subconscious, that time has passed all too quickly, and continues to march on in spite of our best efforts to slow it down at those “perfect” moments in our lives.

While we can’t stop time, we can make an effort to appreciate the gifts that are most important in our lives. And I suspect every parent would immediately count their children when asked to ponder God’s most abundant blessings in their lives. Our Catholic schools feel the same way. In speaking with many of our Catholic school principals and teachers at last week’s Catholic Schools Convocation and during my many school visits, it has been most evident to me that choose to work in our schools because they greatly value your children and are fully committed to sharing with them the knowledge and the gospel values that make a Catholic education such a gift. The same can be said of our religious education instructors, who volunteer their time and work so hard to ensure every child comes to know Jesus and experience His love through the teachings of our faith.

I offer my prayers and wish for each of our families a rewarding, safe, and happy school year!