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A New School Year

Today, along with many other schools in the area, we began a new school year at Immaculate Conception School.  We have many returning students but there are also new students.  The Pre-K3 class is all new, many of the Pre-K4 classes are new but there are new students in other grades too.  We have a new Principal, two new teachers, and a new aide along with the returning teachers and aides.

The first day of school can be both intimidating and exciting for new students.  We expect it for the new students.  I believe the same can be true for returning students.  A different teacher, a different classroom, can make them wonder what the year will bring.  Will they like the teacher?  Will they know anyone in their class?  Will they make new friends or feel alone?

Why do I think even the returning students might feel this way?

I think we can all feel this way when we face a change whether it be a new school, a new job, moving to a new town, and needing to find a new parish.  For instance, when we start a “better” job, we can be exciting at new possibilities but we can also wonder how we might fit in.

We can love new beginnings.  January 1st brings a new year and people make resolutions to improve their lives.  Lent comes and we give something up.  Maybe we give up something we know isn’t good for us.  Maybe we spend some extra time in prayer trying to become a better Christian.  On the First Sunday of Advent we begin a new church year.  During Advent the readings invite us to think about what we need to do to get ready for the Second Coming.

What helps the students feel safe with the new year?  Often it begins with words of assurance from their parents.  Our Father in Heaven gives us words of assurance for our future.

What do you need to change in your life to become a better Christian?  What is going to lead you to make the change?  Are you waiting for a new year in 2014 or Advent or Lent?  Why wait?  Why not change today for we do not know the hour or the day?

We don’t need to wait for Advent or Lent.  Jesus makes possible for us to start anew in our Christian Living.  Jesus makes it possible when he gives up his life on the Cross so that our sins might be forgiven.  All we need to do to start anew is come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation with a contrite heart, confess our sins, and we can begin anew in Christ.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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