There is so much joy and excitement surrounding the start of a new school year! From freshly pressed uniforms to new school supplies, the OC Catholic School Community is ready for another successful year. As we begin this new school year, we are grateful for the many blessings that God has given us. We acknowledge the challenges of the past two years and, with hopeful hearts, look forward to what is to come.
One of the hallmarks of Catholic schools is the special communities that are created and the bonds that are formed. This year we will be renewing our focus on community. Communities come in many different shapes and sizes and are reflective of the unique mission and values of our Catholic schools. As a system of schools, we celebrate each school’s uniqueness and embrace our overarching beliefs in our Catholic faith that bind us together.
SANTA MARGARITA CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARRIVE ON CAMPUS FOR THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ON THURSDAY, AUG. 11. PHOTO BY STEVEN GEORGES/DIOCESE OF ORANGE
As we renew our commitment to rebuilding our sense of community, I cannot help but express my gratitude to the faith-filled Catholic school teachers and staff who are so committed to the mission of Catholic education. This year, we will be focusing on the vocation of our Catholic school teachers and staff who are a vital part of our Catholic school community. The great Catholic theologian and priest, Henri Nouwen, wrote, “More important than ever is to be very faithful to my vocation to do well the few things I am called to do and hold on to the joy and peace they bring me. I must keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and on those who followed him and trust that I will know how to live out my mission to be a sign of hope in this world.” By embracing their unique vocation, our Catholic school educators are a sign of hope to our students, parents, and world. For this, I am grateful!
I am excited to share our theme for this year: Journeying Together in Discipleship. As our universal Church continues in synodality, our OC Catholic Schools are united in our mission to create missionary disciples. In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul reminds us that there should be no divisions among us; we should be united in the same mind and the same purpose. (1 Cor. 1:10). As we begin this school year, this is a perfect time for us to re-engage with one another in this good work to which we have been called. We will use this theme to guide our work and prayer life throughout the year.
As we begin a new school year, we ask for your continued prayers and support of OC Catholic Schools. Through academic excellence, faith formation, and acts of service, our students are disciples of hope to all they encounter. It is through this hope that they will transform our world.