Dear Ursuline Community,
I once had a colleague who would tell his second-semester seniors that everything they had been involved in at school—sports, clubs, activities, even coursework—was all a trick to hold their attention while they developed a more mature relationship with Christ. While his comment would often get snickers from his students, the kernel of truth he was trying to communicate with his rather dramatic statement was that the core of a Catholic education is always a developing relationship with God.
I often think about this as I watch the young women of Ursuline grow during their four years at Sappington and Monroe. It is so apparent as they develop their gifts as artists, athletes, and scholars that building a relationship with God at Ursuline is not trickery, rather it is the recognition that the many activities our students take on—from volleyball to retreats, from liturgy to Student Council, from geometry to theology—are all paths to building a mature faith life, a life that proclaims Jesus’ Gospel message in word and action. It is through the many ways our students engage in their Ursuline education that they develop into mature human beings who reflect the image of God and who help shape the Kingdom of God right here in our world.
We live in a world that is infused with the miracle of God’s creative presence. We live in a world that has had the path to a relationship with our God marked by the Good News of Jesus’ life. And, unfortunately, we live in a world that has built a myriad of obstacles to participating in this saving relationship. An Ursuline education provides an opportunity not to trick our students into a relationship with Christ, but to help them recognize the loving call of our God in all aspects of their lives so they can fully participate in that holy relationship and live rich, happy, faith-filled lives.
For my colleagues and me, it is a gift to be able to participate in this formation of young minds and hearts. It is a gift to partner with parents in this process as well. Thank you for the many ways you support this important mission of Ursuline Academy.
Mark Michalski, Ph.D.