Principal’s Newsletter 6/05/20

Email blast

Dear St. Francis Families,

For the past week, I’ve heard from many students, parents, alumnae, and members of my faculty and staff regarding the conversation taking place on social media. Needless to say, my heart is heavy and sorrowful for the pain expressed by so many current and former students. 

This watershed moment, propelled by the killing of George Floyd, has shined a light on a long-standing social issue that has never been fully addressed in our country. As a society, we should be outraged by the death of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. While this may be perceived as a political statement, it is not. The truth is we have to do more than acknowledge the dignity of every human life. As a devout Catholic, I honor the sanctity of life and stand with those that are fighting for justice and peace across our country, and the rest of the world. 

The events of this past week have rocked the foundations of government and many social institutions. We are not alone in the call to own our shortcomings, past and present, and make holistic and systemic change. Today, we take another step in the process of listening to our students of color and the larger school community in our first-ever SFHS Zoom Listening Session. I am humbled by the number of people that have registered for this event (we reached our 1,000 maximum capacity at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon), and we look forward to listening to the voices of our students, alumnae, and parents. 

As a community of faith, I ask you to join me in saying the following prayer:

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. 
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. 

- Cardinal Dearden in 1979, USCCB

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal