It is exciting to begin a new school year. The energy among students, staff, and parents is palpable on campus. Good education today is a challenge that requires the collaborative efforts of students, staff, and parents. Fortunately, at Archmere, we have a tradition of community that fosters conversation and dialog with an extreme focus on our educational and formative mission.
As we begin this school year, I share with you the words of Pope Francis included in the final pages of “Educating to Intercultural Dialogue in Catholic Schools: Living in Harmony for a Civilization of Love.” (2013):
“Do not be disheartened in the face of the difficulties that the educational challenge presents! Educating is not a profession by an attitude, a way of being; in order to educate it is necessary to step out of ourselves and be among young people, to accompany them in the stages of their growth, and to set ourselves beside them. Give them goodness of creation and of man who always retains the Creator’s hallmark. But above all, with your life to be witnesses of what you communicate. Educators . . . pass on knowledge and values with their words; but their words will have an incisive effect on children and young people if they are accompanied by their witness, their consistent way of life. Without consistency it is impossible to educate! You are all educators, there are no delegates in this field. Thus collaboration in a spirit of unity and community among the various educators is essential and must be fostered and encouraged. School can and must be a catalyst, it must be a place of encounter and convergence of the entire educating community, with the sole objective of training and helping to develop mature young people who are simple, competent and honest, who know how to love with fidelity, who can live life as a response to God’s call, and their future profession as a service to society.” (Pope Francis, Speech to the Students of the Jesuit Schools of Italy and Albania)
Let us take these wonderful words of Pope Francis and reflect on them as we begin this new school year together!