Once again we gather to renew old friendships and forge new ones. We enter together, as a community of learners - students, teachers and parents - the task, outlined in our mission, of forming our theological, intellectual and moral virtues as we pursue Heaven, the Truth and the Good.
As we pursue these noble goals, let us walk together with the guidance of our Holy Patron, St. Augustine. Each year we remind ourselves that we, individually and collectively, must strive to more fully understand and live according to St. Augustine's most famous quotation:
"Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in Thee."
This year, as we enter another Accreditation Visit year, we are so thankful to be invited to achieve accreditation through the WCEA (Western Catholic Education Association)/ WASC partnership. To that end, I propose we all take a refresher course in gratitude - to be truly thankful for our Church, especially one of her principle ministries, education, and in particular for the blessing that is St. Augustine Academy. As a first teaching in this refresher, we consider a few quotes from G.K. Chesterton:
"When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude."
"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, waling, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink."Let us say grace, i.e., give gratitude to God, for this school - for her time-honored principles of virtue and education, for her families and the beautiful children who make up this St. Augustine family, and for the faculty, staff and, in a particular way, with extra gratitude, our benefactors. Let's all strive to adopt these ideals - students, teachers and parents alike, and build each other up in the friendship of Christ and as citizens of one nation, under God.
Michael J. Van Hecke
Michael J. Van Hecke