Our Catholic Church is a church of many beautiful traditions that add to the richness of our faith and connect generations through common experiences. The word “tradition” means handing down or handing over something to another person, so when we perform a particular faith tradition, we share an important piece of our faith with everyone who participates. These traditions help us to make sense of our lives today because they bring the truths of our faith to bear on what we do today. Whether it is the beautiful tradition of the crowning of Our Lady in May to remember Mary’s constant intercession, or the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays of Lent to remember Christ’s death for our sins, we celebrate these traditions in our Catholic schools and look for ways to include them in students’ day-to-day activities.
This upcoming fall, we’re excited to introduce a special Catholic school tradition to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: the Mass of the Holy Spirit. There is a tradition dating back to 1548 to celebrate this Mass at the beginning of the new school year. Many Catholic schools and universities celebrate it each fall. On Sept. 22, more than 12,000 students and faculty from our archdiocesan schools, along with more than 50 priests, will gather at the St. Paul Saints baseball stadium for the archdiocese’s first ever all-school Mass of the Holy Spirit. Together, we will worship our ever-giving God, thank him for our abundant blessings and seek the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance in the year ahead. It promises to be a magnificent sight to behold!
Summertime offers the opportunity for students to continue their learning and spiritual growth outside of school walls in a family setting. Our Catholic faith recognizes parents as the first and most important teachers of our children, and students benefit tremendously from the love and guidance their parents provide. As we leave summer behind and embark on a new school year, I pray that everyone enjoyed extra family time strengthening relationships, making memories and enjoying God’s beautiful creation. On behalf of the entire archdiocese, I welcome you back to school and look forward to a wonderful year ahead!