An Easter to Anticipate
We all have heard the expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This has never been more true than today.
Recently, several of our seniors wrote in English class about how they are adapting to the “Safer at Home” order. I was so honored and humbled, but not surprised, to read how much students truly love their connections with their teachers and our campus. They miss the simplest of things, like chicken biscuits, mentorship from faculty, the beauty of our campus, and just being present and part of the Ryan day-to-day. They expressed over and over the idea of Father Ryan being their HOME. This is one of the lessons we can learn. The beauty of life so often can be found in the simplest of things, the things that in a “normal” situation we take for granted.
This is also true for us as we experience Holy Week. The beauty found in our families, the gratitude for our health, the inspiration found in first responders and healthcare workers, who are heroes every day, the blooming of flowers and the singing of birds. When the distractions of life are stripped away, this is where we need and should find connection, to each other and to Christ.
The last 40 days have undoubtedly been filled with challenge, anxiety, disappointment and unpredictability. But I hope too that they have been filled with opportunity to focus on the importance of compassion, patience, kindness, empathy, and love. This week is an opportunity for all of us, individually and collectively, to focus on the greatest expression of LOVE – Christ’s passion, death, and Resurrection. To pray, reflect, and examine the weight of this expression of love and let it wash over us as we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. While we are unable to gather in our churches this Easter morning, we are united with Christ and the HOPE His return brings to all of us.
We all desperately want to return to a time when we can celebrate Ryan Nation and the experiences we share. At this time, we are uncertain when that time will come. But in our waiting for that re-connection, we remind ourselves that whatever the connections, in-person or via computer, WE are always together through Father Ryan and through Christ.
I was grateful to receive so many responses to our Parent Survey from last Friday, and I am encouraged with your words of support for all the Father Ryan faculty and staff. That means so much to all of us. I am also appreciative of the many suggestions you offered in response to your experiences during this Digital Learning period.
The most frequently mentioned area was the need for more connections among the community, to learn and to gather. To provide ways for us to establish more of those connections, we are adding a new element this week – our Irish Webinars. These 30-minute conversations among Father Ryan’s faculty, staff and leadership are designed to share knowledge and to keep us together. We began with today’s Keeping the Faith discussion with Mrs. Elfers and Father Simpson, which allowed us to share ways to celebrate Holy Week and strengthen our family connections to our faith. I invite you to join us whenever you are able as we bring new topics to our Irish Webinars. And please remember to connect with us via myFatherRyan, our website and on social media.
Questions remain about the coming months, the schedule, and the year-end events. We will communicate information on all of those in coordination and in partnership with the decisions made by our Bishop and government officials related to the campus being closed.
Be assured of our prayers for the healing and grace of Christ for all affected by this virus.
May all of you have a special Holy Week and a glorious Easter Sunday. Alleluia. He is Risen.