Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, you do better.” In many ways, this simple belief sustains the precept of our Catholic school program. Accordingly, my faculty and I view everything we do for and with our students as teachable moments. These moments allow us to provide our young people a prism into the principles of living a purposeful life centered in Christ. More to this point, our faculty assume the great honor of serving as storytellers to our young scholars. And as the bearer of tales to our students, we are sharing the lessons of learning and leading through the lens of our faith. And as I truly believe, our teachers are forever students who continue to seek ways in which to form young people of virtue in heart, mind and soul.
Although, this process doesn’t just happen by chance. Rather, our faculty continue to perfect their craft in support of shaping the next generation of a Christian citizenry. It is with this mission in mind that I would like to share two recent events which served to foster our teachers’ ongoing commitment to professional and spiritual growth. The first event was set in the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains as my colleagues and I spent Saturday, March 2 at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. This professional development day was entitled “Teach Significantly”. At this memorable event, my staff and I joined our Catholic school peers from Annapolis up to Hagerstown and everywhere in between. Teachers spent the day learning and gathering insight and research into the best practices of our vocational ministry as educators. Spending a Saturday “in class” immersed in the picturesque beauty of the mountainous region of Frederick County served as a wonderful reminder that all great teachers are students first.
Yet, learning as a teacher isn’t merely limited to those of academic pursuits. It is also essential to nourish our own soul as Catholic catechists. By tending to our own spiritual enlightenment, we are better prepared to foster the faith formation of our young people. Accordingly, this past Friday, March 8, our faculty and staff spent the day in prayer and reflection on the beautiful grounds of the All Saints Convent and Priory near Patapsco State Park. Our day was generously led by Fr. Brian Nolan, the pastor at St. Isaac Jogues in Parkville. This day of discernment focused on three main ideas. They were as follows: “Rooted and Formed in Catholic Mission”; “A Fuller Understanding of Vocation”; and “Inspiring Examples of God’s Light and Love”. These topic sessions provided us an illuminating examination into our vocational calling to seek meaning and purpose as we respond to God’s individual summons. A Christian calling that reminds us that we were made by God, for God and if for God, for others.
In the eyes of many school families, our faculty represent the Catholic church. For this reason, we are gratefully humbled by the honor to serve the universal Church as co-workers in Christ’s vineyard. And to quote Dr. Angelou once more, “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.” Consequently, my colleagues recognize the great privilege it is to serve as teachers. And by recognizing the blessings which fill our lives, we teach because as we know better, we do better. And as always for the Greater Glory of God (A.M.D.G.)!