Welcome Back to School!

Hello, young people. Welcome back to your wonderful, good Catholic school. We’re glad to have you. The talented teachers that we have, the administration, everybody who is involved in the school; tell them that you’re thankful and grateful. I also want you to think about the Saints who are with us. The Saints who are the patrons. They watch over us while we’re in school.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, for instance. Saint Thomas Aquinas is one of the great patron saints of schools, and Catholic educators. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. There’s a great big statue of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton at Seton Hall University in Newark, New Jersey. And she’s standing there and she’s got this big cape on, and she’s standing there with her arms outstretched and she just looks like she’s going to give everybody a great big hug. But she is also one of the great patron saints of Catholic education. And she’s an American. We do have American saints. It’s a great thing to think about. And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little bit about Saint Joseph of Cupertino. Saint Joseph of Cupertino is also the patron saint of students. He didn’t know much, but through the grace of God, what he did know he used well and got other people to love Jesus and to love the Blessed Mother.  Boys and girls, you can’t go wrong if you love the Blessed Mother. Every single thing you do is going to have some kind of positive impact on the world.

This year, there’s going to be a few new things that are going to be going on, and we’re going to be talking about them, and you’re going to hear them a little bit more in class work—the year of the Eucharistic Revival. When we talk about the Eucharist, you know what that means, especially you boys and girls in the second grade who are learning how to love Jesus in a special way through Holy Communion, through the Holy Eucharist.  And as you get older, what we like to see is that involvement, that education, become a little bit more exciting for you so that when you go to Mass and you receive Holy Communion, you are participating in one of the great gifts of God’s love for each and every one of us. Each and every one of us gets a special gift through Jesus in the Eucharist.

Now, the other thing that we’re going to hear about as we talk about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is what we do to think about this great gift. We’re going to talk about it all over the place. There are going to be special events that you’re going to be seeing happening throughout the dioceses about the Eucharistic revival. But one of the most important things that you can do my dear young people, is to be involved. Getting involved in the mass, getting involved in prayer, getting involved in the scriptures, getting involved in doing what Jesus wants us to do. And that’s simple things to be good, to study, to learn, to really put ourselves out and help others to know and to love and to serve God.

That’s pretty much what we can say for right now. But I want you to think about how you will respond to doing what your faith asks of you. How are you going to respond to the love of God in your life? How are you going to respond to your parents? How are you going to respond to your teachers in school? All the various kinds of ways in which you are going to be called upon to exercise goodness?

My dear young people, hopefully, I will see you throughout the year. We’re going to go ahead and do the things that we do: Catholic Schools Week, the various kinds of ways of coming to your local parish, celebrations of confirmation, and all the various things at which I am present in your life.

So please get ready. And when I get there, I sure do want to hear you from time to time to say Hi.

I’ll see you at Sunday Mass.