By Dr. Erin Barisano     3/12/2019

Dear Colleagues,

As we enter the beautiful season of Lent, we are reminded of the opportunity to repent and renew our spirits so that we may journey with our Lord.  As Catholic school teachers and leaders, we have been given the gift of companioning young people during this special time.  During my school visits I am reminded of many Lenten traditions that our students experience at our Catholic schools. I have observed student-made posters advertising clothing drives and construction paper crossed adorned with purple drapes.  I have witnessed students preparing for their weekly Stations of the Cross and read beautiful written reflections posted in hallways.  Of course, it wouldn’t be Lent without Friday Fish Fry in the parish hall!  These are just a handful of the wonderful traditions that our students experience during the 40-day journey towards Holy Thursday.

All of this evidence reminds me of the incredible responsibility we have to lead our students closer to Christ so that they may fall in love with Him.  As teachers and school leaders, we do an amazing job to teach our students the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during this season, but remember that Lent is a wonderful time to deepen our own spirituality and relationship with our Lord who so lovingly gave His life for us.  I know firsthand how busy the month of March is–it seems to have a mind of its own!  I can certainly appreciate how easy it is to become overwhelmed with an abundance of meetings, papers that need to be graded, and class projects that require your attention.  In the midst of the chaos, I encourage you to take time to slow down and renew your own spirit.  Increase your spiritual reading or participate in an online Lenten reflection from Dynamic Catholic or Faith ND.  Or, simply spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and clear your mind and heart so that you can hear Jesus speaking to you.  Whatever path you choose, know that the time you spend nurturing your own spirit will lead you closer to becoming the person you are called to be.

As we journey throughout Lent, please continue to pray for all those involved in the ministry of Catholic education.  In the busyness of our lives, it is sometimes difficult to recognize those moments of grace and light that surround us.  May we all strive to recognize the blessings that surround us and see along the light of God’s grace.