Abp. Chapelle offers light of Christ to its students

The Catholic faith is the cornerstone of everything at Archbishop Chapelle High School, said Constance Buisson, the school’s director of institutional advancement, Sept. 20 at the school’s 11th annual community breakfast at Chateau Golf and Country Club in Kenner.
    After an invocation by school chaplain Father Jeffrey Montz, Chapelle president Jane Ann Frosch said Archbishop Chapelle empowers “young women to realize their God-given potential and to make a difference in the world.”

    Archbishop Gregory Aymond then gave a rousing address, encouraging parents, educators and adults to help the young church of today feel loved, discern their gifts and use them to love others.
    Summarizing a Scripture passage from St. Paul to the Romans read at the breakfast by Chapelle’s co-chaplain Deacon Drea Capaci, Archbishop Aymond said St. Paul pointed the way for the Romans to follow Jesus just as Archbishop Chapelle points the way for its students – to rejoice in hope, endure hardships and afflictions and persevere in prayer.
    Archbishop Aymond defined hope as our personal desire and expectation that God values our lives, even though we are not always conscious of God’s presence. “Hope is firmly believing that God has a special dream for everyone of us,” he said. “Our role in life is to discover that dream and live it.”
    The archbishop mentioned that everyone becomes discouraged in life, but we must never lose hope. “With hope, we see and know that God is with us,” he said. “He never abandons us. … He becomes that glimmer of light in the darkness.”
    The high school years are a time to expand the minds of young women in knowledge, expand their hearts for the love of God and community, to be the heart and mind of Jesus and to be his disciple. He urged young adults to lean on the Lord in prayer to hear his response to their dreams and hopes.
    With the overload of information young people are exposed to today through the Internet, Facebook, etc., they learn too much too soon and are expected to make adult decisions when they are not yet capable, Archbishop Aymond said. The more high-tech we become, the more disconnected we are from one another.
    This generation is losing a sense of personal relationships, finding it difficult to even look someone in the eye when talking.
    Adults must patiently fight for their attention to teach them the right path in life, and they must help young people value themselves for who they are, he said. Parents and older adults must be attentive to their needs.
    Because of this struggle with interpersonal relationships, Archbishop Aymond said some of our young people become confused, feel unloved, alienated and unnurtured and turn to drugs or alcohol to ease their pain.
    “We have not taught the young church to value themselves enough,” Archbishop Aymond said. “What is the goal of education? To help our young people with those complexities, to help our young people pause long enough to know themselves, appreciate themselves and to know God’s dream for them … and to help them treat others with respect and to discern their gifts so they will make a difference in the work as they live out their full potential.”
    Christine Bordelon can be reached at cbordelon@clarionherald.org.

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