The next step in the Journey

Leisa Schulz
Superintendent of Schools

By LEISA SCHULZ

Several years ago, I attended a workshop on change, and one of the images the presenter shared with us was of a person on a trapeze. The individual, in midair holding onto a rope, was swinging between the two platforms, a suitcase in one hand.

The presenter said even in the midst of transitioning from one way of life to another, we pack valuable items to take along with us. That image remains vivid to me, and I often reflect on what items are vital to take into the next phase of our journey.

In the next few weeks, our students and teachers will be experiencing life-changing transitions as they move from one grade level to another, graduate from elementary and high schools, take on new teaching assignments and retire from lifelong ministry in Catholic education. In every instance, they will decide what to take with them as they move on to new and exciting opportunities.

We all share the experience of Catholic schools and the impact they have made on our lives. I think when we unpack our suitcases, we will find similar items that will serve us well on our journeys.

God is present in our lives
God is always with us. Our parents and teachers have taught us to see God in every person and in everything around us. We are charged to go out and serve others and to love them as God loves us. We also have the person of Jesus Christ as an example of how to live.

Inspiring achievement
Our Catholic schools and educators have prepared us well by modeling excellence and encouraging us to do well because God has given us much for which to be thankful. We want to do well so that we can share our gifts with others and make a difference in the world.

Community
We are part of family, school and parish communities that love us, support us and challenge us. Our communities make all of us stronger by celebrating our successes and sustaining us during the hard times.

Expect the unexpected
The past year has certainly affirmed that we cannot plan or control everything! As individuals and communities, we have seen how we can be flexible, pivot and implement innovative and creative solutions to continue learning and gathering together. We rely on faith and hope to guide our efforts because we know God is with us. We are open to the unexpected opportunities God provides us.

At some point, we will need to let go of the rope and land on the platform. Letting go takes courage and faith; however, the excitement of moving to the next phase is a powerful motivator. Remember that we are bringing what counts most with us as we continue the journeys God intended for us. The following quote from St. Edith Stein is a daily reminder and inspiration to me.

“Whatever did not fit in with my plan did lie within the plan of God. I have an ever deeper and firmer belief that nothing is merely an accident when seen within the light of God, that my whole life down to the smallest details has been marked out for me in the plan of divine Providence and has a coherent meaning in God’s all-seeing eyes.”
– St. Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta a Cruce, O.C.D.

Congratulations Class of 2021 on your achievement and blessing and prayers on your graduation and future!

I am proud to also be a member of the class of 2021 as I transition to retirement after 41 years of service in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville. It has been a life-giving experience, full of joy every day even in the midst of challenges that call us to grow and change. The constant is the mission of our Catholic schools to transform ourselves, one another and the world through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your support and your undying commitment to our Catholic schools.

Leisa Schulz is the superindendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

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