As parents and guardians, you are tasked with making decisions which will help nurture your child and keep them safe. Being a parent is the most difficult and rewarding job. Over the past year, the stress and anxiety that comes with parenting has been amplified in the face of a global pandemic, health concerns, and unrest within our society. During a bleak time, you have continued to act as beacons for your children in guiding them along the path of Christ. Your support of your children, our schools, and our communities has made this year possible. I am grateful for all you have done and continue, to do to provide your children with a Catholic education.
It is an honor to have our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools entrusted, not only with the care and education of your child, but in the development of their faith. Our shared faith, especially during this past year, has provided us the strength and comfort needed to forge even the most difficult paths. The children are blessed not only to develop their faith within the school community but to learn firsthand from their families and parents. Despite the pandemic, parents still made the effort to engage with their children in their religious education, pray at home, attend liturgy, and safely participate in community events. Your children benefit tremendously from each of these experiences.
Our school communities are blessed to be filled with families who supported staff, teachers, and students, as they made the leap to reopening in the fall. There have been many changes in the way students have learned over the course of the year, in-person, hybrid, remote, but parents have not wavered in helping their students achieve. Parents were also quick to share words of encouragement and appreciation for teachers, staff, and administrators, knowing that they were doing everything in their power to create the best possible learning environment. Parents supported schools through fundraising and direct support of other families in need. Through the generosity of Diocesan families, we were able to provide extra PPE, hand sanitizer, and even more scholarships, to aid families during this challenging time.
Parents and families helped make this year a success not only in your guidance in faith and support of schools, but in your efforts to be a positive example for your child. It has been extremely difficult to stay positive over the past year and even more so as you work to provide a somewhat “normal” experience for your child. We have said over the past year that “children are resilient” and indeed they have been, but we owe a large thanks to families who have provided the foundation for these children to cope with difficult times. By encouraging your child, preparing them for difficult situations, and giving them the tools to understand their emotions, you have enabled them to work through an incredibly challenging year.
At the close of a tumultuous school year, it is my hope that you will be able to enjoy some time with family. Take time to pray together and embrace the peace that comes from building your relationship with God. I wish you good health, happiness, and minimal stress through the summer. We look forward to our time together in the fall.
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.