Back to school is cherished time to reconnect with Jesus

By Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, Clarion Herald Commentary

I hope everyone had at least a little bit of time during the summer to take a break from the daily routine. In my opinion, the summer flew by. It seemed as though Memorial Day was yesterday.

Entering into a new school year brings with it drastic changes to the daily routine for parents, children, teachers, school administrators and catechists.

As the school year begins, I’m glad to have the opportunity to thank those who live out their vocation as Christian parents. As you who are parents know, you are the primary teachers of your children in the ways of faith. Thank you for being an example of Christian living. Thank you for ensuring that your children go to Mass on Sunday, study about their faith and embrace daily prayer. Yours is a weighty responsibility, and I thank God that you embrace this vocation with great dedication.

For our children, while going back to school is met with enjoyment by many who reunite with their friends, some of you may not exactly be looking forward to returning to the discipline of study and discovery. As we know, that’s life, and it’s good to be challenged to grow not only academically but also spiritually.

To all those who care for and teach our children, we are most grateful. I particularly thank all those who give their lives over to the important work of education – our teachers and administrators in our Catholic schools and in all schools. I express gratitude to our catechetical leaders and catechists for your commitment to handing on the faith and to introducing the young church to Jesus, allowing our children to grow in their relationship with him.

Teachers, you not only teach by the way you instruct students in the classroom, but you also teach by your example – by the way you treat and respect our children and your coworkers. We know that children pay very close attention to what you say and do. May they continue to learn from you what it means to be a wise person and to live out the faith.

I also thank grandparents and others who serve in the role of parents in caring for our young people. God blesses you abundantly for all that you do. You say, like Jesus did: “Let the children come to me.”

So, the school routine has begun. Usually, the first couple of weeks can be a little intense. We place ourselves in Jesus’ hands because he is the best of teachers.

Questions for Archbishop Aymond may be sent to

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