Welcome to Father Ryan's Website!
Several years ago while presenting to the faculty I retold a centuries old story about a traveler and three stonemasons, a story that I believe expresses the essence of our work here at Father Ryan.
The story goes: One day a traveler, walking along a lane, came across three stonemasons working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, the traveler asked the first mason what he was doing. “I am cutting a stone!” Still no wiser the traveler turned to the second mason and asked him what he was doing. “I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that it is square and that the dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit exactly in its place in a wall.” A bit closer to finding out what the masons were working on but still unclear, the traveler turned to the third mason. He seemed to be the happiest of the three, and when asked what he was doing replied: “I am building a cathedral.”
This is who we are at Father Ryan…cathedral builders. Cathedrals are incredible testaments to our human endeavor and spirit. It is not only their grandeur and splendor, but also the fact that they often take more than fifty years to build. Those who design cathedrals, and the tradesman that originally work on them, know for certain that they will never see them finished. They know only that they are creating something glorious that will stand for centuries, long after their own names have been forgotten
Each day we all have the opportunity as parents, teachers, students, and members of a larger community to answer the question: are we just masons working in a quarry, or are we cathedral builders, working on the most important and significant project in our lives?
If we believe that our children are our “cathedrals” and who they become is a perpetual legacy of who we are and what we believe, we must have the perspective of the last stonemason. No, it is not easy. Being a parent or educator in today’s self-absorbed world is difficult. In fact, there are days when the stone resists and conditions are not perfect, when we are tired, or when the right tools are not at our immediate disposal. Working with young people in the light of the Gospels may be the most difficult way to build in today’s society. We must press on, knowing that our labor is one founded in love. There is no more significant project that we can undertake in building our legacy and glorifying God.
Doing this alone is impossible; we all need the help of other stonemasons. And thankfully they are in abundance at this school. So welcome to Father Ryan. I hope that you will join us in building cathedrals today that will inspire people for generations.