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The Pause of Summer

To Teach as Jesus Did:

Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

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"The Pause of Summer"

As another school year ends and summer soon begins, we inevitably look back on the past ten months with mixed degrees of relief, regret, and gratitude.   For us Catholic educators, however, there is no “standard” school year.  The year we’re completing isn’t just one more set of seasons that we’ve concluded, like the final page on a calendar, or one more destination that we’ve reached, like the finish line of yet another marathon.   We’ve been walking unique journeys of faith this year, with challenges, successes, setbacks, and blessings, knowing Christ as both partner and goal.

Now we take a summer’s pause on our journey, before we begin again.  We savor the opportunity to reflect on what is behind us, what is before us, and what may lie ahead.  Summer is our chance to retreat. 

As lifelong learners, each of us has grown since August 2018:  professionally, personally, and spiritually.   In what specific ways have we changed?  Who or what has had the most significant impact on that growth?  What goals seem most important for us to consider as we approach another year of ministry?  Summer’s slower days call us to reflect on what we have learned, about life as well as our work, and how we have been drawn closer to God.

As dedicated teachers and leaders, each of us has been fully committed to the communities we serve and the responsibilities we’ve been given.  What was most satisfying about our duties this year?  What presented the most challenge?  Who touched and brought us strength along our way?  Whom did we, like the woman who touched the cloak of Jesus, find unexpected ways to heal?


Finally, as people of faith and ministers of the Church, each of us Catholic educators has been commissioned to live the Gospel in such a way that all would know that we are Christ’s disciples. We haven’t been perfect, but we have persevered.  We may have taken detours, but we have landed where we belong.  For now, we can take heart from the words of St. Paul to Timothy, knowing that “[we] have fought the good fight; we have finished the race; we have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4-7)

For all the blessings and challenges of this year—come our way through seasons of sun, fog, cold, loss, and the surprises of spring—let us take a summer’s pause to give thanks and praise. 

In very particular ways, I give thanks and praise for each of you.


A blessed summer to all!

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

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