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Elevating priorities

From Safari…… Today marks the beginning of Catholic Schools Week. The theme is: “Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community.” Catholic schools have an irreplaceable role in the Church’s evangelizing mission. Building on the central goal of Catholic schools to form saints, Catholic schools teach and embrace the whole person, body, mind and spirit. The fact that all members of a Catholic school community share the Christian vision of faith that Christ is the foundation of Catholic education is what unites the school as a faith filled community. The benefits of a Catholic education have been studied and well-documented. Results show that students who attend Catholic school receive a challenging, high-quality academic experience in a supportive environment, with an emphasis on Catholic values and college preparation. The self-discipline developed by students, along with learning to accept responsibility and to respect others, work together to create excellent life-long learners. Teachers and staff strive to develop the whole student: mind, body, and spirit. Our One in Christ Area Catholic Communities are blessed by our schools --- Cathedral, St. Katharine Drexel and St. Francis Xavier. As part of Catholic Community Schools, a PreK to 12 system, our schools strengthen the Catholic Church and society by educating student at an unparalleled level of excellence while teaching, sharing, and living the gospel message of Jesus Christ. You are invited to explore our schools in action by calling ahead to set up a visit. What are we to make of Paul’s advice the past two weeks, in his Letter to the Corinthians, about single and married life? To understand Paul we need to understand his eschatological expectation. Paul believed that the time was short, the end of the world was near. We might put this in perspective by considering what we do when faced with an imminent crisis. When people faced last summer’s wild fires or approaching hurricanes and had to evacuate, what was most important to do before leaving? What did they feel they had to take with them? What did they have to leave behind because it was less important than what was already filling their car or suitcase? Now think what you would do if you if you knew your death was coming in 18 months. What activities would edge out everything else? What would rise to primary importance? That’s more or less the context of Paul’s thinking in this part of the letter. He’s saying that the eve of the end of the world is not the time to plan a wedding. Putting Paul’s message into practice today, is the call for us to evaluate our priorities. Are we spending our time on what is really most vital for our moment of history? Are the things we are concerned about worthy of the attention we give them or are they distractions from what is more life-giving for us and our world? Have a peace filled week! Fr. Ron

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