A LETTER FROM FATHER FONTI
This letter was given to each of our students as the academic year began. . . .
August 29, 2018
The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist
My Spiritual Sons:
Since my appointment as Rector-President in 2013, I have written a personalized letter to each of you at the beginning of a new academic year. Recent disturbances within our society and Church warrant me to write a collective letter this year.
Whether your emotion is the excitement of a senior eager to graduate or the anxiousness of a freshman wondering “what high school is all about,” acknowledging the emotional movements within and around us is both healthy and necessary.
These past five years, I have diligently worked with our staff and faculty to give each of us a clean, comfortable, and safe environment in which to work and study. I am deeply grateful to everyone who has helped me to make Cathedral not only a stellar academic institution, but also “a home away from home.”
Security has been a top priority of mine especially in these unsettling times when terrorism and school violence have filled all of us with concern and fear. Installing additional security cameras and lighting this past year within our building as well as around its perimeter, have given us an added layer of protection. As you return to your studies this year you will also find a new security measure: an added set of security doors within the foyer of the school. These bulletproof glass doors will be open wide at the beginning and end of each school day for easy entry and egress. At all other times they will remain locked. A student or visitor who enters the building when the doors are closed will only have access to the building if he/she is personally let in by a member of our staff. Unlike the main doors, there is no buzzer to let you enter the building. Patience will be required, as a member of the office staff will have to come to greet you.
Security measures are only as good and effective as those who respect and properly use them. When we hear of a terrible tragedy especially at a location where young people are gathered, we are saddened and maybe even frightened, “could this happen here, in my/our school?” It has often been said: “the best defense is a good offense.” If each of us entrusts to his/her care the welfare of the other by remaining conscious and alert, we will all have a peace of mind and heart in knowing that our home, school, and community is safe and protected.
It is now with great shame and sorrow that I address another serious matter plaguing our Catholic community at this time. The recent revelations of scandalous and sinful behavior perpetrated by several members of our Church’s hierarchy (bishops) and priests particularly in their care of young people, impels me to assure you that not only our building, but more importantly, you, are safe!
The abominable deeds done by those who pledged at their ordination to protect souls not molest them deeply saddens and disgusts me. With my brother priests, your priests, Father Lee and Father Bethge, I am greatly ashamed but I am also determined more than ever with them to share with you the joy and goodness of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. We love being priests. We love especially sharing the gift of the priesthood with each of you, our spiritual sons.
If at any time during your stay at Cathedral you feel uncomfortable, disrespected, threatened or mistreated by anyone – priest, faculty, staff or fellow student – speak up! I promise you: you will be heard, respected and the matter addressed.
I am excited about seeing you and hearing about all the wonderful things you experienced during the summer. Grateful to Bishop DiMarzio for renewing me for another year, I look forward to working with you, praying with you, challenging you, forming you, and deepening my love for you.
Never more proud of the honor God bestows on me by virtue of His Son’s priesthood to be known as and called “father” by you, I promise you a safe, enjoyable and growth-filled year.
When you arrive next week and every day for school thereafter, know that I will be waiting for you at the door ready to greet you and receive you with a father’s embrace of support and love.
Prayer in Honor of Saints Anne & Joachim
O holy Saint Anne and Saint Joachim
your were privileged to be the parents
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and the grandparents of Jesus, the Son of God.
Your faith and trust in God was blessed
when Anne became pregnant at time in her life
when she had given up hope of having a child.
With joy and thanksgiving,
she gave birth to a daughter, Mary,
who would become the mother of our Savior.
You surrounded Mary with your love
and taught her how to trust in God
and be a woman of faith.
As parents you had the day-to-day responsibility
of helping Mary grow
and of guiding her to believe
even in times of uncertainty.
Saint Anne and Saint Joachim,
we ask you to guide all parents
in their day-to-day responsibilities
of raising their children.
In this complex world,
help parents to know what will good for their children
and help them to be models of faith
by the way they live out their belief in God.
O holy Saint Anne and Saint Joachim,
your love for each other
is a source of blessing for all married people,
and for parents and grandparents.
The child that you brought into the world
showed God’s great love for all people.
Help us to treat each other with patience, charity, and compassion.
Guide parents the day-to-day challenges
of raising children.
Bless grandparents in their role of being a support to their children,
and a source of love for their grandchildren.
Give your gift of peace to all that we pray for this day.
Through Christ our Lord.