As a Catholic school administrator since 2002, I’d hoped against hope to make it through my career without the pain of a school closure. The Lord saw things differently, and today we marked out final school day at St. Margaret School.
I shared the following remarks as the Closing Mass this morning:
Good morning, I am grateful that you are here, and we are together to mark this passage; the final day of continuous education at St. Margaret School.
I look out and see teachers, staff members, alumni, parents of alumni, friends –you who are and you who have made St. Margaret School. Thank you for standing in witness to our final day today.
I won’t –can’t — summarize the impact that St. Margaret School has had since 1994. Thousands of students and families, hundreds of teachers, staff members, and administrators have contributed to millions of interactions large and small that have started young people on their lifetime journeys of kindness, love, and faithfulness. These many, many interactions brought our mission to life in your capable hearts and hands. Recently, I shared the sadness of our beloved school’s closure with a trusted colleague, who wrote, “So much is lost in ways that are difficult to articulate – just a whole reality that is unique, like a person. Perhaps all schools are living beings with a certain span; some are like giant ocean turtles that live centuries, and others as evanescent as butterflies. But each has unique beauty.”
Do the words “unique beauty” ring true to you when thinking of St. Margaret School?
Might we picture our school as a butterfly — colorful, lively, joyful — yet fleeting?
The truth is nothing – save the Lord – is permanent. Job tells us that the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. So that is what we have to do; know the fleeting nature of all things, see St. Margaret School as the gift that it has been, and bless the name of the Lord.
Our school life ends with Holy Mass, when it is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give Him thanks. Thanks to Him for St. Margaret School, for the gift of one another and the beautiful children, for the love we have shared, and for our future not yet known.
At the conclusion of Mass today, all of our staff members will receive a framed print of this original drawing of St. Margaret School, made by a professional artist and friend of Cape Catholic schools. Additional prints are available for each Mass attendee today at your request, outside the main entrance after Mass.0