Dear Catholic School Students, Faculty and Staff, and Families,
Welcome Back to the 2016-2017 School Year! Between August 15 and August 19, approximately 16,400 students will be arriving to the campuses of our Catholic elementary and high schools to begin a new academic year. Most of you are likely returning to a familiar site and reuniting with friends and classmates, yet many of you may be arriving to a campus for the first time. Perhaps you are a new principal or new teacher. Perhaps you are now a “highschooler.” Perhaps you changed schools. Perhaps your family moved over the summer months. For all of us, beginning a new year involves challenges. I want you to know that each of you will be in my thoughts and prayers during this time.
I also want you to know how grateful I am to you for all that you contribute to our schools and our local Church throughout the academic year. Thank you for choosing to become involved in so many activities and programs outside the classroom. A special “thank you” to all teachers! Daily, I give thanks to God for our teachers, aides, principals, families, and the many, many people who support our Catholic Schools.
Over the next few months, I will have the pleasure of visiting many of our schools. I always look forward to these visits as they provide me with the opportunity to meet the students and staff on an informal basis. I need to be invited, however, so please encourage your principals or campus ministers to contact my office to arrange a visit to your school.
As always, this new school year promises to be a very exciting year, but for four of our schools, the 2016-2017 year will be an anniversary year. Holy Family and St. John the Baptist Schools celebrate their 30th anniversaries. St. Joseph of Cupertino School celebrates its 60th anniversary, and St. Clare’s School celebrates its 160th anniversary. Congratulations!
It seems somehow fitting that the beginning of this school year coincides with the second week of competition in the Summer Olympics. The Olympics remind us of what one can accomplish with commitment, hard work, and perseverance, but frequently, the athletes will comment that even more important than winning or losing an event is the knowledge that they have done their very best! And that is my hope for each of you–that this 2016-2017 year will be a year in which you do your very, very best!
In the meantime, let us remember each other in prayer. In particular, I will ask Our Lord to make this academic year a great year for all of us! God bless you and your school community.
With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,
Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose