Dear St. Francis Family,
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” - Albert Einstein
The Christmas season is a joyful time to celebrate the birth of our Savior – it is also a time that calls us to pause and reflect, to treasure our blessings and to set inspiring goals. As we once again take stock, we count among our greatest blessings, the family that is St. Francis. A family that makes sure every child, every Golden Knight, has a champion – someone who is their somebody that never gives up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be. It is in this spirit that our Franciscan virtues are called into light – virtues like acceptance, brotherhood, service. These are time-honored traditions that set our Golden Knights apart in the many roles they will play during their lifetime. These are also themes that are carried close to the heart, in a world that changes so quickly, and at times with such furor. These are a calming peace and complementary balance during a time of change and rapid progression.
In our quest for inspiration, the concept of balance once again comes to mind. And by balance, we consider several nuances: stability, steadiness, fairness and justice. These nuances speak again to our time-tested educational mission and philosophy that recognizes our Golden Knights are not numbers; they are individuals with unique needs and goals. Our commitment to providing a nurturing and safe environment – stability - where each Golden Knight can be guided to uncover and develop his God-given gifts to become the best man he can be remains unwavering. We challenge our Golden Knights to think and act globally – to serve others, especially the minors and those who do without and to be an advocate of goodness for those who lack a voice.
As we consider balance, it is essential that we celebrate measurable achievement and results as well as intangibles like character development and spiritual growth. I would argue that in the final analysis, a greater value ought to be assigned to those things that cannot be counted or measured. As men of virtue, we see the Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy. We live Franciscan virtues. We embrace the traditions of St. Francis High School that are blended ever so carefully and thoughtfully, with the need to keep pace and stay current with the demands of the time, all the while staying true to who we are.
And so we are intentional in our quest for balance. As we marry tradition with progression, in the classroom, in the art studio and on the stage, on the field or in service, we see Francis and heed his wisdom. We express our priorities through action. In the pages that follow, you will read our progressive efforts to educate – through the launch of a student wellness program, an honor code, a curriculum review and a broadening of our learning specialist role. We invested in our campus once again, giving the Fr. Alphonsus O’Connor Gymnasium a “facelift”, adding new technology to the theater and preserving our chapel. We applaud the amazing record-setting results of our One in a Million Annual Fund – we loved hearing about what many of you felt made St. Francis and continues to make St. Francis one in a million. We celebrated life milestones together: baptisms, confirmations, weddings – rites of passage: graduations, retirements, promotions as well as comforted one another in challenging times, in sickness and in grief. Our tradition of family and celebrating life is stronger than ever.
Let me thank you, St. Francis family, for your incredible support of our efforts to find balance. You join us as we honor our significant traditions, especially those of faith and family – you partner with us to innovate and adopt contemporary methodologies, to stay relevant and vibrant. You pray for us and we ask you to continue to keep our St. Francis family, particularly our Golden Knights, in your prayers. We are so very grateful to you, dear St. Francis family and will continue to remember you in our prayers.
Yours in Jesus and Francis,