Please join me in heartily welcoming the newly enrolled students, and their parents/guardians, who will be coming to O’Connell next year—who, as of today, are being sent the Weekly KnightLine. We all know, and remember, what being new feels like—both the excitement and anticipation and the nervousness and uncertainly—and we also remember, indelibly, those who reached out to us with hospitality, warmth, and open arms when we were new. Please, veterans of Bishop O'Connell, reach out today or sometime soon to anyone you know whose son/daughter/family has been newly "Knighted" in extending a most gracious and profuse O’Connell welcome. And speaking of the spirit of community that we all know and appreciate about our school, this weekend's line-up exemplifies O’Connell at its best—the 5K/fun-run/walk event (virtual this year) which benefits our Expanded Services AND the school's annual crown jewel in combining kinesthetic service with fun—the 46th Annual Superdance—which, while modified appropriately in response to mitigation necessities, will witness yet again this year the gathering of hundreds of bopping, bouncing, shimmying, and sliding young people deeply and enjoyably committed to adding to the over $4.5 million raised since the mid-70s for cystic fibrosis research. Go Knights (and how!)!
"100 Words" serves as a self-framing for me to keep things short and sweet, an homage paid and recognition to an expression I hold near and dear: less is more. Each of these reflection pieces lands quite close to the 100-word mark and provides me an avenue through which to share with you, the O'Connell community, a reflection from week to week on any number of my thoughts, observations, opinions, takeaways, musings etc.—falling within the realm, and in no patterned way whatsoever (trust me), of the prosaic to the lyrical, the informational to the aspirational, the serious to the whimsical, the arcane to the profound, the secular to the spiritual...you get the picture.
My goal and hope is for you to get to know me as I get to know you, the members of the Bishop Denis J. O’Connell community, and all I ask from you is that you take less than a minute each week to read (more or less) 100 words. God’s Peace.
My prayer in this week's Knights Intercessors prayer chain reads as follows: "Our thoughts, prayers, concern, and love go out to the Asian-American members of the Bishop O'Connell community. We are with and alongside you in unity."
How can any of us, whether Asian-American or not, understand this ineffable moment in which our brothers and sisters in the Asian-American community are facing unprecedented, in modern times, levels of discrimination, bias, bigotry, and, yes, in some cases violent assault and hate crimes? What would the Prince of Peace, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, do, or guide us to do, in this time of sorrow, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear? This afternoon I wrote to the O'Connell student body to say that, while I certainly don't have the answers, I do have a statement of intentionality to share that comes from me both as Head of School and as a fellow child of God, reflective of where I believe we must stand as a community rooted in Church teachings, the Catholic identity, and the life of Christ. If we are to walk alongside and be there for and with our Asian-American friends, classmates, colleagues, neighbors, and fellow human beings, we need to do so together. Unity begets unity.