School has been in session since the 21st of August locally, but yesterday was my first visit to Queen of Angels, our local Catholic School with grades from PK through grade 8 (I was on vacation and then meetings last week). The occasion of the visit was my first liturgy of the school year with the school family in the afternoon, and except for the heat (a hot stage under the lights in a non air conditioned auditorium), I enjoyed being with the kids.
The theme of the liturgy was sharing the light of Christ, with the students reciting a version of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman's "Lead, kindly light". They were told in the intro to the prayer that Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta and her sisters prayed this prayer often.
I spoke of the challenge that we have at the beginning of an academic year to dedicate ourselves to learning all that we can about God and the talents and gifts that he has given us, especially learning about Christ. This knowledge sets the stage for us to then move from knowing about him to truly knowing him with our hearts. Head knowledge gives way to heart knowledge, which in turn leads to the desire to serve - both God and those entrusted to us by him. To know him is to love him, and to love him is to serve him. This is our task, our responsibility, and our joy. After Mass I met and welcomed a brand new student in the 6th grade who had transferred in that morning, and spoke to several parents as well as reestablishing the ties with the youngsters at the school. Queen of Angels is celebrating twenty years as our Regional School under that title. Their excellent reputation is rooted in the long history of Catholics School education at Immaculate Conception, Saint Agnes and Saint Edward schools.
Prayers and thoughts ... I just read on the news that a 7.6 earthquake struck the Central American country of Costa Rica this morning at 10:42 ET. The earthquake struck about seven miles SE of Nicoya ( a town of about 15,000 residents). A report from the Red Cross said that there were no reported deaths. I mention this because I have a cousin, Joy Flores Stoviak, who lives with her husband and family in Nicoya, and whose daughter, Jenifer, at one time served as mayor. I have not heard from them as yet as to how they are, but a prayer and thoughts would be appreciated.