The following story will appear in the September 8 Idaho Catholic Register.
Chaplain Father Greg Vance and President Bill Avey
Beginnings are incredibly important. Beginnings set the stage, they situate and root us in our proper place in history, and they give us something to evaluate the subsequent history against.
Think about it. If you are going to watch a movie or read a book, you need to be introduced to the characters and the setting. When you come to Mass, the beginning is where we ask God’s forgiveness and compose ourselves for the celebration to come. As a matter of fact, we routinely tell students here at Bishop Kelly that if they want to get more out of their attendance at Mass, they should come with at least two prayers in their minds and hearts: a petition and a prayer of gratitude for something. If they bring these prayers with them, then they are more prepared to begin Mass fruitfully and effectively.
It is incredibly important that we begin the school year at BK well, for all the reasons mentioned above, and for the simple fact that we seek to begin the year, and everything we do, with God’s blessing and grace.
Even though there has been activity on campus all summer long, the pace has really picked up since the start of August. On August, 2, we gathered for the day with many of the incoming seniors who have volunteered to be Campus Ministers for the coming year. We laughed, played games, prayed and reflected on what it will mean for these generous young people to minister Jesus Christ to their peers and adults this year.
On August 11, we had “Freshman Academy,” which is a whole day dedicated to making our incoming Freshman class as prepared and excited as possible.
For us, a highlight of the day is the Mass. We are joined each morning in the chapel by a different Bishop Kelly team or activity. This ensures that each student who participates goes to Mass at least once per week.
For a few weeks now, there have been tryouts and practices for fall sports. The campus is literally abuzz with the energy of new classes and activities. The summer break is over. We love the vitality because it means the school is again what it was founded to be.
We know that among our families, there is excitement (as well as a little bit of trepidation) for the year to come. We associate the beginning of the school year with things like new notebooks and pens, new shoes and new friends. And, certainly not least on this list, are the new students, families, and administrators we welcome into our com-munity, or into new roles within our community.
As we begin this new year, we ask that you pray for the students and families of Bishop Kelly High School, as we work every day to deliver on the BK Mission to “educate and develop the whole student in the Catholic tradition - Spirit, Mind, and Body.”
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