Dear Members of the Prep Community,
Last Thursday morning, at our annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, we heard a passage from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians that really struck me, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (2:1-2). As we begin a new year here at Prep, this passage reminds me of what we hope to do here at Grand & Warren each year: become one in mind and spirit - a mind and spirit focused on loving one another and loving Christ.
While I was reflecting on this passage, I thought of the theme of our school year this year, which was mentioned many times during our Mass of the Holy Spirit: People of God (Pueblo de Dios). We choose a theme for each year at Prep - something to act as a motto, a driving force for all that we do - particularly in our formation and social justice activities.
We see instances of people living up to the call to be “People of God” every day at Prep - when Campus Ministry Team members spend hours and hours preparing to lead their classmates on retreat, when a teacher goes out of his or her way to spend precious time assisting a new colleague rather than putting their own lesson plans first, or when I receive a call from a parent to alert me of another Prep family who could use some extra prayers. The Prep community often knows how to bring out the best in one another, and act as beacons of love and support for one another.
And, yet, I hope that this year’s theme challenges us as a community to consider how we act as People of God with those whom we may not feel as directly connected to, or even those who we don’t want to be connected to - those who do not seem to be “like-minded,” as St. Paul would say. How do we respond to the call to be united in love with all of God’s people: in our own homes, or in the headlines?
This speaks directly to our theme’s connection to this year’s Arrupe Week theme: preferential option for the poor in Central America. Throughout the year, we hope to examine the historical, political, economic, and social realities in countries throughout Central America, and ask what these realities mean to us as American citizens. How are those who are poor and vulnerable in those countries affected? And how can our awareness of these issues help us to better respond to the call to be united as people of God across the world?
We hope and pray that this year’s theme will remind all of us of our call to be united in spirit and love with people all over the world. And we pray that this reminder will call us each to action in our own ways.
Ms. Maura Toomb
Director of Campus Ministry