Well, this is it. The pandemic year is over and windows are beginning to open up to breaths of fresh air that bring hope for the year to come. It has been a struggle, but we have done well and we are better for it. Better because we were able to navigate the turbulent waters with grace and test just how strong our community is. Resilience is definitely one of our strengths.
Before you go off to the break, I would like to take a moment and thank the members of the Belen Jesuit community who now get off the ship and settle onshore. Mr. Jorge Muñoz-Bustamante, Mrs. Maria Morera, Mrs. Ana Mora, Mrs. Tere Campos, Mrs. Angie Fernandez, thank you all for your love and dedication to Belen Jesuit and its students. A very special thanks to Dr. Josefina Chirino, my 11th and 12th grade Peer Ministry teacher, who first taught me the dynamics of public speaking… Thank you.
A special mention goes to Mr. Ramon Nicosia, our high school assistant principal. I still remember the day when I, as principal, reached out to him on the phone to hire him for a teaching position at Belen. He was on the shore of some river in North Carolina getting ready to go white water rafting. He took the job and a friendship began. His service to our school has been invaluable. While most people move down to Florida as they get older, he’s traveling up to snowy Buffalo. Maybe the hopes of a Bills run for the Super Bowl next year encouraged him. He will be missed. Thank you.
So, now a couple of suggestions before you all leave:
Rest! This has been a trying year. Never underestimate the power of sleep. Charge your batteries because we are coming back in August with a vengeance.
Stay off your iPhone and iPad! Give your eyes and brain a rest from the gamma rays produced by those machines.
Read! Not on your iPad, but actually get a book. Let the paper slip through your fingers. Put a bookmark between readings and, when you set it aside, look at the bookmark to see how far you have gone and how much you have left.
Go to Mass! There is no excuse to miss Mass. We have an obligation to Sunday mass and COVID is no longer an excuse. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to take some time away from your precious summer break and go to a weekday mass for good measure.
Pray! Cranking up the amount of prayer during the summer months is not a bad idea. Keep a rosary in your pocket and use it every once in a while. Remember to offer grace before every meal, especially in restaurants (need to set a good example for the world). Literally, get on your knees on the side of your bed before getting in it and say a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for the graces of the day.
Okay, that’s enough. I will be signing off with this last email of the year. Don’t be surprised, though, if I get inspired and send something out. Have a wonderful summer and remember to keep battling like Wolverines.
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain. The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline. In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty. The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow. Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.