Teachers gather for ‘back to school’ Mass

Teachers pray the "Our Father" at the annual liturgy held prior to the start of the school year, held this year at St. Lawrence Church.

Teachers pray the “Our Father” at the annual liturgy for educators, held this year at St. Lawrence Church.

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

Franciscan Brother David Migliorino held up a Bible and told teachers gathered Aug. 5 at St. Lawrence Church that “the Gospel is the curriculum.”

More than 700 Catholic elementary teachers from 40 schools came together for prayer and reflection at St. Lawrence prior to the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.

Following Mass celebrated by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Brother Migliorino delivered a captivating and at times comedic address titled “Jesus CEO.”

Again and again, Brother Migliorino brought his talk back to the Gospel accounts. He wove endearing anecdotes with the central messages of his talk, rhythmically repeating certain phrases.

“Jesus kept in constant touch with his father.” This was a phrase Brother Migliorino repeated several times to the teachers, principals and school staff gathered.

“Do you?” he asked. “Jesus meets with his boss daily. Sometimes in Scripture it says he did for hours. Do you spend time in prayer?”

Brother Migliorino, who is a teacher and principal of Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau, Mo., told the educators they have the exact same mission as Jesus Christ — to lead their students to heaven.

“Our job is to get them to heaven,” a phrase he repeated for emphasis. “That should be in your mission statement.”

“We don’t need the highest reading scores or the most championship plaques on the wall,” he said, noting those things are nice. “We do need to present them heaven and lead them to it.”

Being a teacher, he said, is one of the most noble professions. He then passed around a few collection baskets and invited the teachers to give what they could in order to assist those students who wish to attend a Catholic school but cannot due to financial obstacles.

“I don’t do this to be dramatic. I do this because it’s noble. I want them to physically see that the people of the Louisville Archdiocese care.

That you care about your children,” said the 66-year-old who has been a Franciscan Brother of Brooklyn for 43 years.

The impromptu collection netted $2,369.50, said Leisa Schulz, superintendent of Catholic schools. The money, she said, will be given to St. Andrew Academy, 7724 Columbine Drive. Per Brother Migliorino’s request, $500 from his speaking stipend was also given to St. Andrew.

Brother Migliorino concluded his talk by producing a basin, a pitcher of water and a towel. He told the educators they had two options when they awoke in the morning. The first, he said, as he washed his hands in the basin, was to be like Pontius Pilate.

“You can say ‘I wash my hands of this man’ as Pilate did. You can say ‘This kid is making me crazy. I wash my hands of him,’ ” he said.

Or, he said, the teachers could choose to be like Jesus. He said this as he washed and kissed one of the teacher’s hands in the basin.

“You can wash their hands, you can heal them,” he said, referring to the students.




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