By Fr. Louis Molinelli, SDB, Province Delegate for Youth Ministry
Happy Easter! We glorify in the gift of the Lord’s resurrection. May we be jubilant in our ministry as educators and evangelizers to the young and bring them the “Alleluia” of new life!
Over the Easter octave, a number of our confreres and lay colleagues attended the annual National Catholic Education convention, which was held in New Orleans, LA. This convention, which was first held in 1904, is our nation’s conversation on the current reality of Catholic education. For those of us who attended, we heard that our Catholic schools have braved well the storm of these past few years and are still strong in their commitment to education of the young. When schools throughout our nation shut down for in-person learning on March 13, 2020 due to the pandemic, our Catholic schools quickly moved to virtual learning and modified school. Teachers and administrators immersed themselves in the virtual and technological world so that our Catholic school students would continue to receive a quality Catholic education. Speaking from experience during those years as a school administrator and as a teacher, this required hours of extra time and effort. However, it was for the young, and no sacrifice is too great when the good of our young people are at stake!
The convention was smaller in number than previous years, due to COVID-19 protocols that were still operating when the convention was planned. However, many schools attended virtually via “watch parties.” I am thankful to those Salesians and lay collaborators who were able to attend in person as well as those who participated virtually. I want to give a special thank you to the Salesian community of the Westbank for being such wonderful hosts.
Our Salesian schools provide a holistic approach to educating the entire person. They are rooted in the Gospel and in the living out of the Preventive System each day. So many educators expressed their gratitude for St. John Bosco and his approach to education. May we continue to be the guardians and promoters of the charism not only in our own schools but in those who seek to share in our mission and vision!