Today begins CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK! The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds usthis week of the importance of Catholic Schools in the mission of the parish and the church. This year’s theme is:CATHOLIC SCHOOLS: LEARN, SERVE, LEAD, SUCCEED. Saint James the Apostle School, under theleadership of CAROLINE PONTERIO, PRINCIPAL, along with the faculty and staff, provide anenvironment where our students learn more than just subjects. They learn about our faith, what it means to liveour faith, and how to care for and serve others, following the example of Jesus. Our students also learn how tolead by example, following the example of the adults involved in the teaching of the students. Eventually, theysucceed in how they apply what they have learned here to their continuing education in high school, college andbeyond. The values experienced in our school will be with them for the rest of their lives, as the school builds onthe foundation set by their parents. I am happy to be able to teach the 7th and 8th graders religion each year. Asmuch as it is a learning experience for the students, it also is one for me.  In his First Letter to the Corinthians, Paul had to confront a divided community. This was a difficulty for himbecause he believed that the message of Jesus was one that would bring people together, rather than divide them.This is reflected in the second reading today. Paul is reminding us that it is Jesus around whom we focus our lives,and that his teachings challenge us to be the Body of Christ for one another. When we recognize that each of us isequal to the task, and has something to contribute to the life of the church, then we are helping to build thekingdom of God, and not ours, on earth. Everyone adds something different and unique to the efforts of thekingdom, and no one has all the insights or answers. That is why the need for us to work together is so important.  There is room for all of us in the church and in God’s kingdom, just as there is always an opportunity to celebrateand share our gifts with one another. Consider how rich our lives are because we meet different people who offerus a variety of experiences, all of which are meant to help us grow. Our faith is an incredible experience of aloving God, who gave us his Son so that we could live as a transformed people.HAPPY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK!!!~ FR. JOE

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