Over the course of the past week, I found myself drawn into the whirlwind that was the students from Covington Catholic and their interaction with both participants in the Indigenous Peoples March and members of the Black Hebrew Israelites.
I was caught up in how forcefully divided we are as a country. Some quickly chastised the students. Others came to their defense and propped them up as models of behavior and restraint. As is the case with so many events in our country, vehement polarization ensued.
This situation was a powderkeg. From racism to abortion to immigration to the Catholic Church to women’s rights to all of the many associations with MAGA hats, there were so many emotionally charged aspects of this event.
As I emerged from the vortex still trying to figure out what really happened, I was overwhelmed by the great and urgent need throughout the world for healing, justice, peace, reconciliation, and love.
If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.
We believe that Jesus Christ conquered sin and death through the Resurrection. As His disciples, we are charged with carrying on His salvific mission: the salvation of souls and the total formation of all humans.
As such and in light of our world’s dire need, “There must be nothing little about us, we must have hearts of apostles” (St. Julie Billiart). We must embrace the apostolic boldness that is the Spirit of God within us. We must harness the zeal that has animated countless holy women and men throughout history. We must then “cooperate with divine grace in forming the true and perfect Christian, that is, to form Christ Himself in those regenerated by Baptism” (Divini Illius Magistri, #94).
Pope Pius XI states that Catholic education should result in the formation of super-humans. “Hence the true Christian,” Pius XI writes, “product of Christian education, is the supernatural [person] who thinks, judges and acts constantly and consistently in accordance with right reason illumined by the supernatural light of the example and teaching of Christ; in other words, to use the current term, the true and finished [person] of character” (Divini Illius Magistri, #96).
People of character.
Christ Himself in those of us regenerated by Baptism.
As Remick Leaders, we hold fast to our beliefs and we use them to inspire, inform, and enliven our respective ministries. We believe that God is in all things. We believe that we are made for each other in the image and likeness of God. We believe that we are disciples with hope to bring. We believe that excellence happens on purpose. We believe that school leaders drive student success.
We believe our work makes God known, loved, and served.
Therefore, we must believe that the Remick Leadership Program has a part to play in bringing healing, justice, peace, reconciliation, and love to our world.
We must believe that our work is bringing people closer to Christ and bringing Christ to the world. We must believe that when we do it right and well - and we must - that we can create the type of people the world so desperately needs.
In the 1982 document, Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education writes:
The vocation of every Catholic educator includes the work of ongoing social development: to form men and women who will be ready to take their place in society, preparing them in such a way that they will make the kind of social commitment which will enable them to work for the improvement of social structures, making these structures more conformed to the principles of the Gospel. Thus, they will form human beings who will make human society more peaceful, fraternal, and communitarian. (#19)
Our world needs these types of humans - humans supercharged with zeal, relentless curiosity, hunger, purpose, vision, courage, humility.
Our world needs people of character.
Our world needs saints.
Our world needs heroes.
Our world needs Christ Himself in those regenerated by Baptism.
Our world needs love.
Our Catholic schools can form these types of super-humans. Our Remick Leaders can ensure that our Catholic schools do this.
Our world needs Catholic schools.
And our Catholic schools need Remick Leaders.