OUR CATHOLIC IDENTITY
In the Footsteps of Our Savior
The average life experiences much joy as well as much sadness. In a comprehensive view, you can hardly have one element of success without some counter-balance of limitation. Depending on one's disposition, needs, circumstances, ambitions and efforts, the equation of success vs. failure can vary much. Some persons will appear to savor mostly moments of joy while others are saddled with more than their share of sorrow. Overall though, most every life will have its moments of joy in addition to times of challenge which frequently lead to sorrow.
Jesus in his human nature experienced normal levels of emotion. When he gave hope to people he must have been elated. In caring for the sick, in feeding the hungry and in raising the dead to life, he must have felt good about a service well-done. But as we well know, Jesus also suffered the human emotions of loneliness, rejection and proximity to failure. In the final act of his human existence, he experienced physical, emotional and likely spiritual turmoil. Undoubtedly, he shared our experience of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, successes and failures.
The ticker-tape type parade of the entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday evidenced the high public acceptance of Jesus by the people. After all he had cured them, fed them and given them hope in a miserable existence. He was in the mind of the onlookers the greatest (for now). He must have felt great. But such an atmosphere was shortly to dissolve. His endurance of the challenge that was coming was to be his best expression of greatness. He showed his true self in being able to carry out the challenge of life to the end.
With great optimism in the footsteps of our Savior, Jesus, each of us can follow through on our own journey of experiences. The joys, sorrows, challenges and pitfalls will all come upon us. We must somehow find focus in the road that Jesus walked. Endurance, service, optimism, prayerfulness and hope will sustain us as we journey and look forward to sharing the joys of resurrection in our own lives. How great it is to have hope!
Father Vincent T. Kelly
Reflections from Fr. Kelly
“The Fourth Quarter”
All of us must give appropriate credit to the genius of the individuals who crafted what we now call American football. Even though it was not finessed in its early stages, it has developed into an exciting, challenging and entertaining experience not to mention the financial advantage to the chosen few. One of the great aspects of the game is in its being divided into four quarters of play. Each quarter must be played with effort, strategy and consistency. While one team may have momentum and energy at the outset, unless its staying-power is assured, the opponent can catch up at a later stage and achieve success. Patience, persistence and a well-executed game-plan can give success to the team which seeks it most.
Every venture in life might be viewed in four quarters: start-up, growth, experience, and scaling down. While purpose and focus can keep programs alive, nothing lasts forever: no company, no career, no political system. All human ventures have finality at some point. Taking advantage of the energy and commitment of the early stages, the venture can last as long as there is a need and good direction. The key to success is to stay the course.
Our human experience might also be considered in four quarters: birth (infancy), youth, working years and retirement. We begin with gusto determined to conquer the world. We prepare ourselves as best we can. We respond to challenges which come our way. We then scale down when the advisory comes. No two human experiences will be similar so it is necessary for each person to develop and execute his/her own life's game plan.
Which quarter of life in your estimation is the most productive? Obviously that depends on natural talent, motivation and one's willingness to produce. But in the final analysis, the fourth quarter is where the action truly is. This is where all the ideals, plans and efforts come together to provide a successful result. This is where one gets his/her act together and realizes the importance of relating everything to the Lord. With sorrow for sin, with surrender to God's will, with a return of the love and talents provided in the first quarter by the Lord, everything blends in to give purpose, direction and success in attaining victory in the “Super Bowl” of life. Make the most of the fourth quarter!
Father Vincent T. Kelly
Our Catholic IDENTITY
Catholic identity thrives throughout the STA campus and in the hearts of students, faculty, and staff. Serving those who appear “the least” in the community remains the focus of our efforts in and out of the classroom. We encourage STA students to witness to the call of Jesus in service and faith.
“Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits: He sends us to everyone.”
- Pope Francis
Campus Ministry awakens students and faculty to the reality of Jesus present in our lives. In various ways, faith formation remains our focus as we encourage students to engage and explore the Theology curriculum, retreats, religious events, and opportunities for individual involvement. Students serve as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, altar servers, singers, and musicians. STA students share their Catholic Identity through middle school and Confirmation retreat programs at our local parishes. Monthly Nights of Fellowship combine faith, friendship, and fun as the STA community celebrates our Catholic Identity and spiritual camaraderie.