Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ
I write to you as we come to the end of the school year to offer my best wishes and congratulations on another year completed. Well done!
It has been a year unlike any other and you, your teachers and your parents have faced many difficult challenges because of the pandemic that has affected the entire world.
I am sure that as you had to leave your school to study at home you felt at first a sense of freedom from the routine of the classroom. However, the novelty of this change of scenery probably wore off soon after, as you came to discover that some of the most important parts of school are not just the hours in the desk and the homework to be done, but being able to be present in a community with your fellow students as you learn and grow together.
Our year-end liturgies and graduation ceremonies look very different this year, and it is important to acknowledge what we have lost. At the same we look forward with hope to that time when we will be together again.
We have all made sacrifices at this time, your parents have had to make so many accommodations and adjustments to your ordinary home life, teachers and administrators have worked countless hours to make sure that you have continued to be able to learn in new ways, and you have done your best to adjust to this new reality. We can now take a much-needed break for the summer, knowing that we have all done our best.
To our graduating students I offer my sincere congratulations, prayers and best wishes as you come to the end of this chapter in your lives. As you head off to whatever is next, you do so well prepared to face the challenges that lay ahead. Stay hopeful, be courageous and, most of all, be compassionate.
Our Gospel reading for our year end liturgy reminded us that whatever we do to the least of our sister or brother we give in the same way to Christ. It reminds us of the great works of mercy that encourage us to look out for each other and especially for those most in need. Jesus reminds us that even if we are kept apart because of a viral epidemic it does not erase the fact that we remain brother and sisters in Christ.
In the same way that we look to our own safety and well-being during these days, we keep alert also for those who are struggling. Perhaps you know a friend who is feeling alone and needs someone to talk to. Maybe your family knows and can reach out to another family in need. We all do better if we help one another.
As we reach out, let us continue to be grateful for what we have received. For loving families, for dedicated teachers, for the roof over our head and for the food on our table. May we never take for granted the simple things in life that provide us what we need.
May God continue to bless you all and protect you until we can meet again. Have a wonderful summer and enjoy time with your families and friends.
Peace and God’s blessings
2 thoughts on “End of Year Greeting to the Students of our Yellowknife Catholic Schools”
Love those gowns and caps! Beautiful colour! Your message was very appropriate and yet challenging! I liked the inclusion of compassion and the suggestion of reaching out to others and the acknowledgement of the simple basics of life. You are definitely practical in your advice. Thank you once again for an encouraging message to those young folks pursuing their next stage of life.
CONGRATULATIONS to all the Graduating Class of 2020. Thank you Bishop Jon, for your continual words of advice and encouragement. My words of wisdom, passed on to me by my Dear Mother, is “There is nothing so bad that it couldn’t be worse, from the day that you’re born till you ride in the hearse!” The other three wise words were “Pray, Pray, Pray”
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