A Special Message from Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York Michael J. Deegan
September 1, 2022 | Feast of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal
Dear School Communities,
Over the past several years, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has spoken of the notion of encounter – the ability for individuals to come together to know one another from a special space, in a special way, with the intention of uplifting the other.
This past year, each of the pastors, principals and teachers engaged in this sacred encounter within the sacred spaces of school buildings, playgrounds, churches, chapels, and in reunions with parents, neighbors, and clergy.
The success of Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of New York relies upon this notion of encounter, what Pope Francis often calls the need to form synodality – “listening and walking together.” This encounter occurs when principals greet their students at the school doors, when teachers communicate with parents on the progress of student academics, when clergy and religious proclaim the word of the Lord at Mass and during prayer, when staff members come to common understandings about questions of challenges that are met with patience and love. It is my hope this document, “Rising Above,” will affirm our collective commitment to the health and safety of our school communities.
This defines our Catholic schools – and even more particularly as schools continue to reinvent themselves and transcend expectations “Rising Above” in a post-Covid-19 world. Success and achievement on MAP standardized test scores, excellence on the Archdiocesan Religion Exam, and the thoughtful use of new technologies, programs, and platforms geared toward maximizing student success and confidence-building are a part of this relationality that defines Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of New York.
In the Emmaus encounter, Christ was recognized immediately in the breaking of the bread – something we do both informally and Eucharistically in our school communities. May you continue to break bread with each other during this upcoming school year with open doors and hearts and may that openness be a sign to all of our vibrancy and life-giving commitment to a Christ-centric education.
My prayerful best wishes for your health and success and my profound gratitude for your hard work and continued sacrifices on behalf of our precious students.
Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York
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