A Message from Bishop Mark
When I was in fifth grade, my teacher thought that the most important part of our education was reading. The next most important thing was spelling. In our classroom, there was a huge dictionary. That book was at least six or seven inches thick. It was so big, it had its own table!
At least twice a week we had quiet reading time. I mean “remain seated and absolutely no talking” quiet reading time. The only way anyone could take a break was to go to that dictionary. And to make sure that we were actually using the dictionary to find the meaning of a word, our teacher would have us write down the word we searched and later share it with the whole class.
The word “school” comes from the Latin word schola, which has more than one meaning. It usually refers to a place where learning or teaching take place. It can also mean “learned leisure.” This definition suggests that the learning that goes on in school can and should be enjoyable.
This “learned leisure” in the best sense is where a person’s mind finds joy and satisfaction that comes through further knowledge of self, others, the world we live in, and discovering the greatest source of our joy and satisfaction, which comes from knowing God and from God knowing us.
The start of school this year will begin with masks, hand sanitizer, and safe-distancing. I’m sure that they can be more aggravating than waiting in line to use the huge dictionary in fifth grade. For students, it’s going to be great to be with friends again, and I hope that it will allow parents some time for learned leisure. Don’t get discouraged about what might happen with the lingering effects of the Coronavirus. Be safe, be careful, and enjoy being back in schola.
With prayers and best wishes for teachers, parents, and students,