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A New School Year: “It’s All About the Journey”

To Teach as Jesus Did:

Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

August 29, 2013




A New School Year:  “It’s All About the Journey"

During these late August days, as a new school year begins amid a number of other commemorations and events, I find it hard not to be fascinated with images of common travel toward a common destination.

Today, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the news is filled with film clips of the throngs who marched on Washington, D. C. with Dr. King, for causes that still matter to our collective spirit.

As this Labor Day approaches, I fondly recall my father’s stories about the pilgrimages made by Milwaukee’s Slovak Catholics on Labor Day weekends in the 1920’s to Holy Hill in Hubertus.  According to him, the pilgrims would crawl on their knees, together, to the church at the top of the hill.

And, on a very different note, Harley bikers will be rolling into Milwaukee throughout this weekend for the 110th anniversary of the founding of Harley-Davidson.  A newspaper headline caught my eye this morning regarding the upcoming 110th Harley anniversary:  “For Harley Riders, It’s All About the Journey.”

As it is for us.

Not biking or crawling or marching, we are, nevertheless, travelers beginning a new year of ministry together.   We are the Catholic school community of the Church of Milwaukee, 2500 strong:   principals, administrators, pastors, teachers, interns, staff members, and other chosen leaders.  We’re starting off together on this educational journey, across 10 counties and in 110 schools, focused on our single, shared goal of forming disciples of Jesus Christ through the Gospel we live and teach each day.   

As is true for all pilgrims, what happens along the way will be important.  There will be speed bumps, detours, congestion, and perhaps even crashes and calamities.  We may receive poor directions (or no directions at all) and be admonished for attempting to move too quickly, slowly, or without sufficient fuel.   But there will also be experiences of marvelous camaraderie, refreshment, satisfaction, and retreat.  We will be given glimpses of the beauty that is the essence of our call. 

As the adventure of this new school year begins, I urge each and every member of the Catholic school community in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, wherever you are or whatever responsibilities you hold, to remember that you do not walk—or work—alone.  Stay connected to Jesus, the Master Teacher, through daily prayer and to each other through mutual interest and support.  In the words of St. Paul,

“Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint
against another….Over all these virtues, put on love, the perfect bond. 
And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it was for this
that you were called together.  Always be thankful.” (Col. 3: 13-15)

Grateful for you in every way, we wish you a holy and hope-filled school year’s journey!

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

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