Faith and Joy on Display at Hill-Murray

Dear Hill-Murray Community,

Last Friday we “clapped out” the Class of 2022.

Our students, faculty and staff lined the halls at the end of the seniors’ last final exam and clapped and cheered as the soon-to-be alumni passed through, leaving the building for the final time as high school students.

This fairly new tradition at Hill-Murray reminded me of how rituals and traditions, old and new, help us express our emotions and display our values.  We love and support our students and today we sent our seniors out with some fun and excitement.

At a much deeper level, in two weeks we will celebrate Mass at the Cathedral before our Commencement Exercises. I have always been impressed that Hill-Murray is one of the schools that gathers so literally and significantly in faith on graduation night.  I remember my own 8th grade graduation Mass at Holy Childhood in Saint Paul, even at that young age I knew faith mattered and that sharing that faith in a community provided a foundation that continues to serve me today.

As a child I remember going to Mass and participating in other Catholic rituals and traditions as part of our regular family life.  My faith was childlike, following my parents/grandparents lead and trusting in what I was taught. As I got older, I wrestled with questions of faith as part of the process of owning my beliefs as a young adult.  I was able to move beyond being Catholic simply because I was raised Catholic, and I found myself in a place where faith was an integral part of my daily life. What a gift.

As an adult,  I can’t say I have it all figured out. I continue to learn and grow in my faith each and every day.  Whether it’s celebrating daily Mass in our chapel with Father Paolo, stepping into a Theology class to see what’s going on or having a conversation with a student about Lent, I continue to experience moments that connect our Hill-Murray community together through our shared belief in Christ.

Our students are at so many different places in their faith journey and I give thanks each day that my vocational call to be a Catholic school leader allows me to accompany students on this journey.  I know our young people want to be heard, they don’t want to be judged and sometimes it seems their faith takes a backseat to the rigors of daily high school life.

In the midst of the challenges and adventures our students face, it is more important than ever that we listen to them, walk with them and guide them on their journey.

I saw joy and excitement last Friday as the seniors left the building. While the happiness was palpable, I know that there is a deeper meaning that is reflected in our faith and discovered in the truth of Jesus Christ.

My commitment as the president is to ensure that Hill-Murray continues to be a community that is steeped in faith, the kind of faith that brings joy beyond description.