Welcome back Faculty, Staff, Parents, Supporters and Corporate Partners to a new school year full of promise and high expectations.
At Verbum Dei, the theme for the year can be summed up by the word “Family.” Both in church circles and in the public forum today, there is much talk about family. Yet, as we all know, a family can take on my different shapes and sizes. So how is the Verb family composed?
The Verb family consists of a network of caring and challenging relationships centered on the Verb student. Faculty, staff, and parents all come to Verbum Dei because of the students. Donors, corporate partners and board members are all involved for the same reason. We all want what is best for our young Verb gentlemen. The students come together in mutual support to help each other to navigate the Verb and to prepare for life and career. The effectiveness of these family networks depends on how well they are aligned with one another and how the students take advantage of them. In the family network is strength and resilience.
The political and social climate in which we live requires that the Verb family today exert even more strength and resilience than ever before. The tone of the presidential campaigns has been discouraging and disrespectful at best. The suspicion around police use of lethal force in some communities has left us all feeling less secure in our homes and neighborhoods. The retaliation on police – many of whom heroically protect our communities – is a threat to the safety of all of us. How do we prepare our young men to face the social and moral questions of the day?
It is precisely the strength and resilience of the Verb family network that is most needed today. It is the openness of the Verb family that allows the students to be able to express their fears and their concerns without prejudice. It is the care of the Verb family which will challenge the students to dig deep into themselves to find the just and loving response to the issues of the day. It is the encouragement of the Verb family that will motivate the students to make a difference in the world in which we live.
Thank each and every one of you for the role you play in making the Verb family strong and resilient and true. May God bless us and lead us as we move through the 2016/2017 school year.
Michael J. Mandala, S. J.