Back-to-school mania

It’s that time of year again, when teachers fuel up on coffee and students switch the brain back on to begin another school year. Thankfully, neither the teachers nor students of Denver Catholic schools appear to be kicking and screaming that summer’s over; quite the contrary, in fact. Denver Catholics are all smiles at the school year starting up again.

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Sophie, 1st grader at Our Lady of Lourdes, smiles with excitement. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

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Miss Hicks, 3rd grade teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes, reads a story to her students. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

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A group of 8th grade girls at St. Mary Catholic school in Littleton poses for a group photo on the first day of school. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

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With a new school year also comes new school supplies. Caedmon, 5th grader at Our Lady of Lourdes, opens a box of school supplies. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

COMING UP: Archbishop Aquila calls school principals to encounter Christ

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At a special Mass for local Catholic school principals Aug. 8, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila challenged the educators to first and foremost pursue a relationship with Christ, that they may have an encounter with him and lead the people they serve to that same encounter in their own lives.

“Each of us are called to encounter Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Aquila said. “Truly knowing him as our Lord, our savior, our redeemer. If we are not convinced of he truth of Jesus Christ, we will never hand on that gift of faith.”

The Mass was held at Christ the King chapel, located at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, one week prior to when kids and teachers headed back to school for the new school year. In his homily, Archbishop Aquila also spoke about St. Dominic and the way he constantly pointed to the truth of Christ in his teachings as a theologian and astronomer. He told the principals to bear these things in mind in their work as educators.

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At a special Mass for Catholic school principals, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila commended them for their work and challenged them to bring those they serve into an encounter with Christ. (Photo by Andrew Wright | Denver Catholic)

In January, Archbishop Aquila and Catholic schools superintendent Kevin Kijewski released a vision document titled “Worthy of the Name.” The vision outlined the ways Denver Catholic schools would continue to provide quality education to its students and form intentional disciples of Jesus Christ, while also sharing plans for improvement. At the heart of the vision lies a strong faith in Jesus Christ, and he stressed that in order for the principals to be effective in their work in Catholic schools, they must first foster a relationship with Christ.

“If we are not convinced that Jesus is the Christ, that he is the word, then we are not worthy of the name Christian, we are not worthy of the name Catholic,” Archbishop Aquila told the principals. “That is why it is so important for us to be those who give ourselves completely to Christ. In the vision we have give for our Catholic schools, it is deeply rooted in the good news of Jesus Christ. [We must] proclaim that truth and [invite] our young people to be worthy of the name.”