Reflecting on the Mass of the Holy Spirit
Jura Litchfield, Music and Handbells

On September 15 the Forest Ridge community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit in the gym. The occasion was a joyful one, as it had been over a year since a large school gathering took place. It was extra special that all of the Sacred Heart Schools around the globe were united in the offering of this Mass at the beginning of the school year. 

One of my favorite moments from the Mass of the Holy Spirit was Ms. Davos’ reflections during the homily. It was an enthusiastic recounting of her school song learned in elementary school. After expounding on the virtues of truth, hope, love and courage she unselfconsciously and to great applause launched into a sung rendition of the song. Bravo, Ms. Davos!

Ms. Davos’ recollections of her Catholic school days brought up many memories of my own. I remember my early days attending daily Mass before classes began in an industrial part of Elizabeth, NJ. This institution was modest by today’s private school standards, but it left an indelible marks on me. I remember in grade school reading many books from the school library on the lives of the saints: heroic and countercultural lives. In high school, I remember the social activism, the kindness of the students, the safe feeling of being sheltered in those walls from the storms of the outside world and the pervasive message that women were valued.
These are fond and personal memories, but they also point to the importance of schools that dare to be countercultural, that aspire to teach service, virtue, even sacrifice. At Forest Ridge, faith calls us to be prophetic voices on behalf of the poor and powerless of the world. We are called to use our gifts, infused by the Holy Spirit for the good of others.

The crises of the present day, both domestic and global will require sacrifice, commitment and perseverance. If we are to right the wrongs and uplift the many who are suffering we will need the virtues described in Ms.Davos's commentary. It is through the values that Forest Ridge lives, breathes and teaches by word and example that we’ll be made strong partners in finding solutions to difficult long-term problems. Here’s to a school year of growing in truth, love, hope and courage.