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August 19, 2016
By Linda Aranda

Every year, we choose a spiritual theme, which serves as our inspiration and spiritual focus.  We are excited to introduce to you, the 2016-2017 school year theme: Family@Heart.  Our hope is to merge it with the Jubilee Year of Mercy for Families, which is scheduled to end with the closing of the Holy Door on December 8 of this year.   This school year, our school community will be celebrating families.  “The family is the greatest treasure of any country.  Let us all work to protect and strengthen this, the cornerstone of society.” ~ Pope Francis

Every month, we will celebrate family in all aspects.  Our celebrations will include inspiration, Mass, family prayer, theme song practice, challenges, and sharing through our St. Mary’s Cathedral School social media not to mention the projects our children will be doing at school and home.  There will be sub themes that explore the importance of family in more depth and promoting ways to keep nurturing God’s families.  

We will kick off our annual theme with a Family@Heart student assembly on September 9th during school hours.  Looking forward, we will delve into what family means to us including those in our home extending out to our parish, our school, our community, our country, and our world as a global family.  To finish the year, we are planning a family event as a fitting finale to this year’s theme!

Be on the look-out for the opportunity to share your pictures of Family@Heart on our school Facebook page.  Please like our Facebook Page and stay turned for new events.  We will be posting all of our theme activities and events on Facebook using #Family@HeartSMCS.   

Letter from Pope Francis to Families

I am writing this letter to you on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. The evangelist Luke tells us that the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph, in keeping with the Law of Moses, took the Baby Jesus to the temple to offer Him to the Lord, and that an elderly man and woman, Simeon and Anna, moved by the Holy Spirit, went to meet them and acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah (cf. Lk 2:22-38). Simeon took Him in his arms and thanked God that he had finally "seen" salvation. Anna, despite her advanced age, found new vigor and began to speak to everyone about the Baby. It is a beautiful image: two young parents and two elderly people, brought together by Jesus. He is the One who brings together and unites generations! He is the inexhaustible font of that love which overcomes every occasion of self-absorption, solitude, and sadness. In your journey as a family, you share so many beautiful moments: meals, rest, housework, leisure, prayer, trips and pilgrimages, and times of mutual support. Nevertheless, if there is no love then there is no joy, and authentic love comes to us from Jesus. He offers us His word, which illuminates our path; He gives us the Bread of life which sustains us on our journey.

Dear families, your prayer for the Synod of Bishops will be a precious treasure which enriches the Church. I thank you, and I ask you to pray also for me, so that I may serve the People of God in truth and in love. May the protection of the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph always accompany all of you and help you to walk united in love and in caring for one another. I willingly invoke on every family the blessing of the Lord.

From the Vatican, Feb. 2, 2014, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

We are all part of God’s family – brothers and sisters who are loved by God our father. We are called to value and honor the role of family in our lives, whether it is our global family, church family, board family or those who are closest to us. The role of the family is to nurture. When we nurture something, we are encouraging its growth and development. We care for people so that they can become who God created them to be, helping them to grow and develop their unique abilities. We will see our theme come alive throughout the school year as we continue to build and nurture loving communities.  Let us embrace this theme and make it the core of who we are this school year!