I extend my warm greetings to all our students, principals, faculty and staff, religious education directors, catechists and volunteers as we welcome everyone to the new school year. This is a time of new beginnings, and everyone is excited to go back to the “new normal.” I am sure that after a year of the many disruptions and challenges this global health crisis has brought, we all wish the pandemic were far behind us.
Unfortunately, we are not quite out of it yet. The work is not yet over. The emergence of COVID’s Delta variant and the surge of infection affecting more unvaccinated people and children makes life more complex for everyone. However, we all have learned from our experiences over the last year. We also have more resources and support available for our children that will help sustain the continuation of their educational journey and achieve the levels of growth and development necessary to reach their fullest potential and success.
I am very grateful for the overall service, support, diligence, collaboration and prudence of all our pastors, administrators, faculty and staff, and for their sacrifice for our students across the diocese. Your great thought, hard work, planning, common sense, application of reasonable safety and health protocols, and cooperation help mitigate the effects of the virus infection, keep our schools and religious formation programs open, and allow us to do what some thought would be impossible.
This year will be another exciting time for all of us. We are confronting the Delta virus strain that, according to health authorities, spreads faster and is much deadlier, affecting more unvaccinated people and children. However, I am confident that our parishes and schools will be able to face again the hurdle before us with great success. Much will depend on our ability to foster greater collaboration and partnership as we strive to do the best for our children and in pursuit of the well-being of the welfare of the community.
Therefore, I encourage everyone to observe the updated diocesan health and safety protocols in all our Church and school premises. As Christian believers, we believe in the sanctity of life of every person. So, let us practice charity, sacrifice and care for one another through the simple acts of wearing a mask or facial covering, physical distancing, and sanitizing practices. Health authorities also attest that vaccination significantly prevents infection. If not yet vaccinated, please consider getting the vaccine, which the Church teaches is morally acceptable.
Our faith in God, love for one another and collective efforts are essential in providing a safe, healthy and Christian environment in our midst. I am grateful for your continued support. Rest assured of my prayerful wishes of God’s blessings and another successful school year.