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The Year of Faith: Advent for Catholic Educators

To Teach as Jesus Did:

Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

December 2012


"The Year of Faith:  Advent for Catholic Educators"

Early one morning this past week, the full moon hung above the St. Francis Seminary cupola and the interfacing hedge of woods with such precision that the entire landscape seemed crowned by a halo of light.  What sacred serenity, I thought.  What an amazing infusion of brilliance into the night.

Darkness seems to dominate this Advent time.  Violence, war, sickness, loss, fear, and injustice of every type claw at our very souls.  Shortened days and increased demands add to the challenge of living what we believe.   Society encourages a pace of action and a pattern of values that lead to even deeper darkness.  What’s a Catholic educator to do?

Beyond the beautiful and very important Advent rituals we will faithfully implement and honor in our schools—the lighting of the Advent wreath, the creation of the Jesse tree, celebration of the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, daily Scripture readings and reflections, pre-Christmas programs, collections for the poor, and countless service activities—there persists during this Advent of 2012 a deep hunger for silence and for peace and for light.  As much as we feel called to evangelize others in this Year of Faith, we are also drawn to recollect ourselves.

We begin this journey of Advent 2012 together, each in our own space and circumstance.  Daily we will join our prayers, our desires, our efforts, and our hopes across the miles of our Archdiocese, knowing that we are united in our mission to “make disciples of all” and in our commitment to personal, interior renewal.   As the community of Archdiocesan Catholic educators, wherever we are and whatever we do, we will wait and work and watch together for the Light.

A blessed Advent to all!

Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools

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