There is so much I would like to say on this occasion of announcing my departure as principal from Jesuit High School at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 academic year. And it is my hope that I will have the opportunities to say everything I need to say between now and my departure. But, for now, these paragraphs will have to do.
It has been such a blessing to serve the Jesuit High School community as principal for these twelve years. Not one day has passed in these twelve years without me thanking God for this privilege of service. God has been good to me.
The vision and mission of Jesuit High School have been formative and driving forces in my life — both as a student and as principal. It has been an honor to give back to this institution that has been so good to me. And now it is time to take all that I am, and all that I have learned and respond to God’s call in a deeper way; namely, to serve as the next president of Creighton Prep — our brother Jesuit high school in Omaha, Nebraska. By the way, Creighton Prep is an all-male school with grades 9-12, and their mascot is also the Blue Jay.
“To whom much is given, much is expected.” This verse from Luke’s gospel has been ringing in my ears throughout the search process at Creighton Prep. I have been very blessed throughout my life — a loving family, good friends, a solid education, good health, and personal, God-given attributes that have made my career as an educator possible. God has abundantly blessed my years as principal at Jesuit, and now He is calling me to use the gifts He has given me to serve the Jesuit community at Creighton Prep.
The characteristic “Open to Growth” in the “Profile of the Jesuit Graduate at Graduation” does not simply apply to our students. It applies to all of us involved in Jesuit education — students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and alumni. While we are alive in this world, no one ever crosses the goal line, spikes the ball, and the game is over. Our Catholic faith and especially the Jesuit “magis” call us to grow. God loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to allow us to stay as we are.
And so, my wife, Donnamaria, and I are walking in faith that God will provide — Deus providebit — to borrow the motto of one of our sister schools in the New Orleans metro area. Leaving our families, friends, school communities, and New Orleans carries with it a sense of sadness, of course. How would it not? But we know that God is leading the way, and He will be with us as we make a new home and love a new school community and city.
Those who know me know that my favorite bible verse is the following: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it ever dawned within one human mind what has been made ready for those who love God” (1 Corinthians 2:9). My constant prayer for the twelve years I have been principal at Jesuit is that I have been somewhat successful in bringing people closer to God and to the beauty, goodness, and opportunities for growth that each day offers — if we only open our minds and our hearts to the grace that God is constantly sending our way.
That will continue to be my prayer for the Jesuit High School of New Orleans community. And it will be my constant prayer as I assume the role of president at Creighton Prep.
God bless you all. AMDG.
Jesuit High School of New Orleans