We embark once again on the most exciting journey of life – the journey into a new school year. From our vantage point today, we can see the faint outlines of this year’s journey, from beginning to end, but we cannot see, predict, or comprehend the exact route we will navigate into our future. We know, however, in our hearts and through our faith as Catholics, that God accompanies us every day, every step, every moment along this path. He will not leave us by ourselves in this journey. In a very real and profound sense, His divine presence among us makes our path this year His path, our journey His journey.
Last year, we were just settling into the new school year when, on August 21, we marveled with great excitement at the total solar eclipse over the northwestern part of our hemisphere. A mere four days later, Hurricane Harvey arrived on our shores. God accompanied us through those difficult and tumultuous days, weeks, and months. He did not abandon us. Our journey last year was His journey.
This year begins with great excitement. First, we have a record school enrollment (443 students in all, with 116 freshmen, and 24 international students).
Second, we have greatly expanded our student services with the addition of a full-time nurse, a third student counselor and a new counseling center, a new art classroom, and a security officer on campus during school days.
Third, we have also added a third priest to our staff – our new chaplain Fr. Jonathan Mitchican. Fr. Jonathan was ordained to the priesthood last night at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Cathedral by His Excellency Bishop Steven Lopes, Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Fr. Jonathan, as you will recall, began last school year with us as a layman, having just moved to Houston from Philadelphia to finish his preparations for the Catholic priesthood. As you will also remember, he was ordained as a deacon by Bishop Lopes last April 18, here on campus during our Wednesday community Mass.
Fr. Jonathan has a new office in the Student Center, between the Roar Store and the Prey Café. He will handle the daily chaplain’s duties, saying our daily morning Masses, leading our Wednesday community Masses, and hearing confessions during the lunch hours. Fr. Scott Blick will continue to help with confessions on Wednesdays, and with our Wednesday Masses.
I am reminded, as we begin our new year together, about the final instructions our Lord Jesus gave to His apostles as they were preparing for the ministry He had shared with them. First, He promised to be with them always, and to send the Holy Spirit to lead them in their new pathways. And then He said: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34).
Let us begin our year with joy, enthusiasm, excitement, and a spirit of adventure.
It’s going to be a great journey!
May God’s blessings be with you all!
It’s a great day to be a Lion!
Fr. Steve Sellers, D.Min., Ph.D.