These last few weeks, it has been great to see how many of you have submitted names of saints to be assigned to the 13 rooms that will be commonly used in our Pastoral Center and Knight Hall. I wanted a lot of people to participate, and you did not disappoint me!In all, 267 submissions were made and a total of 93 different saints were nominated. You really know your saints! I hope the process of choosing which names to submit led to some good reflections and conversations about the saints.

Looking at the number of “votes” each saint received, I am able to announce the top 13 saints. These are the ones whose names will be attached to our 13 conference rooms: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joseph, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Padre Pio, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Maria Goretti, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Christopher, and St. Junipero Serra.

If you voted for a saint who did not make the top 13, please don’t be discouraged. Continue your devotion to your favorite saints, whomever they may be. I do think the list of saints whose names are assigned to rooms in our Pastoral Center and Knight Hall would make a good litany of intercessors and role models as we prepare to use our new facility. May these saints, and all the saints in heaven, intercede for us and watch over us!

Gratefully yours,

Last Monday, the school staff—teachers, instructional assistants, administrators, and other staff members—returned to our school campus to begin a week of meetings and other activities to prepare for the school year. Appropriately, the first thing on their agenda was to participate in our 8:15 morning Mass. It was wonderful to see all of them, and I am truly grateful that our school is staffed by such well-qualified, dedicated, and inspiring people.

This Monday, August 22, the students will begin the new school year. It will be nice to hear them from my office window, and I look forward to Friday morning Masses with the students participating. Before long, I hope to begin visiting the classrooms, where I always feel so welcome and I am so impressed and inspired by the quality Catholic education our parish provides.

Every year, the faculty and staff choose a Scriptural theme which becomes the focus of the entire school year. This year the theme is Romans 12:12 – “Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.” Hope, joy, patience, and prayer: what a great “formula” for our students and for all of us, during this school year and throughout our lives! Please join me in praying for a good, grace-filled school year.

Gratefully yours,

On Monday, August 15, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because it falls on a Monday this year, the solemnity is not a holy day of obligation; but it remains an important celebration. We celebrate the fact that, at the end of her earthly life, the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken, body and soul, into heaven. As the Preface for this day states, “Rightly you would not allow her to see the corruption of the tomb, since from her own body she marvelously brought forth your incarnate Son, the Author of all life.”

The Preface also calls the Assumption of Mary “a sign of sure hope and comfort to your pilgrim people.” The Assumption is a sign of hope because it foreshadows the destiny towards which we are striving: to share in the glory of the Lord’s Resurrection.The Assumption is a call for us to renew in our hearts the virtue of hope. The secret of being hopeful is found in the Collect of the Mass for this day: “Grant, we pray, that, always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory.”

Let’s always be “attentive to the things that are above,” so that we never lose our focus on what is most important in this life. It’s so easy to be distracted by lesser things, but we were created for something much greater than the things around us.With eternal glory as our goal, why should we settle for anything less?

Gratefully yours,