•This Sunday, May 21, is the Spring Sports Awards Ceremony, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help Room. All are welcome to attend. A reception follows.
•This Friday, May 26, students will be dismissed at 12:00 Noon (a little earlier than usual) in order to allow the faculty to sit on the seniors’ Matura presentation panels.
•Next weekend is a 3-day weekend. Students must return by 6:30 PM on Monday, May 29, in time for the Graduation, which takes place in the abbey courtyard.
•Monday, May 29, is the school’s Graduation, at 7:00 PM, in the abbey courtyard. A reception will follow. All students are required to attend and should arrive by 6:30 PM.
•All seniors have been given 10 complimentary graduation announcements. There are additional graduation announcements available at $3.50 each. Contact Mrs. Christian.
•The last day of school is June 2, Friday. Students will be dismissed around 12:00 Noon, if not a bit sooner, depending on how fast they can clean their rooms.
•Please note that no one will receive a final report card or be able to receive transcripts until their bills are paid.
•Congratulations to Fr. Alan and our baseball team on a wonderful season! CIF League undefeated champs!
We just heard our Lord tell us that He would not leave us orphans—consoling words if there ever were any. And we see in the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, how this promise was already being fulfilled even from those earliest days. That is, we heard of people in Samaria being baptized, and then confirmed by the laying on of hands of Peter and John. Baptism is when God give us new life in Christ, similar to our human birth; and Confirmation is when God strengthens us with the power of the Holy Spirit, similar to when we reach our adult life, strong enough to stand on our own two feet and face life’s challenges. In addition, we know that God feeds us along the way with His own Body and Blood through the Holy Eucharist; He gives special graces to married couples through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony; He forgives our sins and strengthens us with His grace through the sacrament of Penance; through the Anointing of the Sick He strengthens us spiritually and sometimes even physically when we are suffering and possibly facing our last moments in this life. He has also given us His Church to teach us infallibly the truths we need to be saved. No, Christ certainly has not left us orphans. He is ready to give us everything we need and more at every moment of our life. He has not left us orphans, but all too often we are the ones who leave our children orphans.
We all shudder to hear those horror stories about a newborn baby being left to die in some garbage can somewhere. How on earth can a parent just abandon their child like that, leaving them to die! It’s criminal! But, believe it or not, to abandon your child’s religious formation is even worse than letting them die physically. Now, if that seems a bit exaggerated, consider the words of our Savior Himself, Who said: Whoever receives a child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea [Matt 18:6]. That is why the Church has always taught that, Parents are under a grave obligation to see to the religious and moral education of their children…insofar as they can [Code of Canon Law 1113]; because to be neglectful in this area, is to cause one of these “little ones” to be lost. How many children never receive the grace and truth of Christ simply because those who are supposed to care for them have failed! Now that’s criminal!
Our Lord Himself, though He is God, willed to be raised in a human family, to be taught by
His mother and earthly father, to be instructed and given a good example. He did not need this. He did it to show us the importance of the human family, and the seriousness of the duty of parents to raise their children properly.
In the second reading from today’s Mass we heard St. Peter tell us: Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope. Be ready, that is, to explain your faith; and in order to do that, you must know your faith. This is an obligation we all have; and those who have children are obligated to teach them to do the same, to instruct them in faith and morals.
Let’s face it, schools have failed miserably. Most public schools are a zoo; and most Catholic schools are not much better. Schools which are truly Catholic are so few in number that the Cardinal Newman Society actually publishes a list of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the nation. They also publish a directory for Catholic colleges; and they do this because most that bear the name “Catholic” are not really Catholic at all. Gone are the days when you could leave the faith formation of your child to someone else. You have to see to it. If not you, it won’t happen.
St. John Bosco, that great patron of education, once said, Raise [your children] with great care in the holy fear of God, because on this depends their health and blessings for your house. And St. John Chrysostom once said: Let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up with the discipline and instruction of the Lord. And again: In children we have a great charge committed to us. Let us bestow great care upon them, and do everything, so that the Evil One may not rob us of them. But now our practice is the reverse of this. we take all care to have our house in good order…but we do not look out for what is much more important. We take care of our possessions for our children, but of the children themselves we take no care at all. Form the soul of your children correctly, and all the rest will be added hereafter [Homilies on 1 Timothy, Homily 9].
I will not leave you orphans. Our Lord teaches us by His own word and by His own example. We need to teach those entrusted to our care by our own words and our own example. So, study your Catholic faith, and teach it to your children, or you grandchildren, or your god-children; and teach them by your own example. Do not abandon as orphans those whom God has entrusted to your to one degree or another.
In the last letter that St. John would write to the early Christians [3 John v.4] said, No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth. May this be our greatest joy as well; and may we all be instruments in God’s hands by raising up those entrusted to our care, so that they do not become spiritual orphans, but rather children of our heavenly Father, to Whom be all glory and honor. Amen.
•For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
•For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
•For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.