Fifteen years ago this Sunday, I sat in church and listened to the priest deliver a homily that celebrated the return of the church calendar to “Ordinary Time.” He poignantly put forth that it is in “ordinary” days that we find extraordinary blessings. I listened to his words with a heavy heart. For, I so longed for the ordinary. However, within a couple of days, my family would move to Brussels, Belgium. We would leave our extended family and community and begin a new life abroad. In the early days of our move, everything felt out of the ordinary. Unfamiliar. Foreign. I felt particularly inadequate trying to communicate in a new language and trying to intuit cultural expectations. It would not be long, however, until we all felt at home in this new place. Our days became “ordinary,” and in those days, in that community, we did experience extraordinary blessings. What we learned there would challenge and change us. Three and a half years later, we would again move, this time to Lakewood. Soon we found ourselves part of a newly formed community – that of Lakewood Catholic Academy.
This time of year, I often find myself reflecting upon that homily from so long ago. I wonder, is there really any day that is truly “ordinary?” Here at LCA, I really don’t think there is.
We ring in 2018 with a sense of deep gratitude for all who constitute the community of Lakewood Catholic Academy. Our leaders, donors, support staff, teachers, families, and students bring unique talents, gifts, and diversity of thought to make LCA a uniquely energetic environment. Even on this frigid day, I look over our incredible campus, majestic Great Lake, and beautiful neighboring Lakewood Park, and marvel at our blessings. It is this place, its people, and, of course, the Holy Spirit that form the gift that is Lakewood Catholic Academy. We are anything but ordinary.
As an IB school, we also celebrate an impressive milestone – the 50th anniversary of the International Baccalaureate Organization. What a wonderful time to deeply reflect upon these lines from its ambitious mission statement:
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
Imagine this aim becoming a reality. Imagine the power of a more peaceful world. Imagine our children building it. As we return to school, to routine, let us remember that it is in these “ordinary” days that extraordinary children grow and evolve. May we all recognize, celebrate and share our extraordinary potential, a gift from God, to be used to build His Kingdom.
Best Wishes for an Extraordinary 2018!
~ Eileen McGuire, Dean of the International Baccalaureate Program