To Teach as Jesus Did:
Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
November 21, 2016
“Catholic Educators and the Season for Mercy”
On November 20, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy came to an end. For the past twelve months, as Catholic educators in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, we have focused on concrete ways to live our faith through the practice of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and teaching the 31,000 students in our Catholic schools. We have made efforts to stretch our personal boundaries and expand our worldviews beyond the comfortable, easy, and familiar.
Although the Jubilee Year of Mercy is over, a timeless Season for Mercy continues. In his final video, Father Ken Omernick, Archdiocesan “Missionary of Mercy,” addresses this month’s Spiritual Work of Mercy, “Pray for the Living and the Dead,” and describes how he learned to make personal prayer a habit in his life. Specifically, he proposes allowing the “content” of our daily schedule be embraced by our prayer.
Praying for the Living and the Dead
In our ongoing Season of Mercy, as Father Ken suggests, we’re challenged to make the very real substance of our lives—in our schools, our homes, our parishes, our communities, and our world—the basis for our prayer and the focus for our love. We don’t have to look beyond the “here and now,” in our many daily venues, to find the call to be people of forgiveness, thanksgiving, and hope.
What would it mean, in each of our schools, if we prayed the words of the Our Father with serious reflection and proceeded to forgive others as we have been forgiven ourselves?
What difference might it make if we constructed a litany of our blessings as Catholic educators, praying for each student and co-worker by name?
How might we change the culture in our schools, our homes, our parishes, and our world if we humbly prayed for those who disappoint us, disagree with us, or cause us feelings of loss—and also prayed for our own openness of heart?
A blessed Thanksgiving and Season of Mercy to all!
Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools