Faith is a gift from God that is meant to be shared. For this reason, a primary goal of any Catholic school is to bring all of the members – adults and children alike – into a closer relationship with God. This is accomplished through imitation and union with Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and for us at IMS, with a little help from Sister Anne McGuire, our Director of Mission and Ministry!
After serving as a principal for 25 years, Sister Anne came to IMS to fill this newly created position, which was formed to help develop a unified approach to Catholic culture across our IMS network of 15 schools. This will help our principals, teachers and children to make the person and message of Jesus Christ an achievable and understandable reality.
Sister Anne, who has dedicated her life to Catholic education sees this unique role as a wonderful opportunity for our students, faculty and all of our IMS staff since she says, “The main reason Catholic schools exist is to pass on our faith to the next generation and to help all members, Catholic and non-Catholic, recognize that they are loved unconditionally by God.”
If we, as educators, are going to encourage students to become life-long learners, while assisting them in the all-important development of solid Christian values, then it needs to start with us. Sister Anne truly believes that all school administrators, teachers and staff need to be nourished and enriched in their own faith in order to be able to nourish and enrich the lives, spirits and minds of our students.
It is with this in mind that Sister Anne recently led her first IMS retreat at the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia. In addition to being a time for all IMS leaders to come together and recharge while sharing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Mass, Father Chris Walsh, pastor at St. Raymond of Penafort, introduced the “Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools”, a papal document that will be implemented in all IMS schools to help establish a unified Catholic culture.
As we grow together to build the Kingdom of God, and learn to recognize the presence and action of God in our lives and the importance of our acceptance and response to that presence, we will be prepared to share our spiritual blessings with love to our 5,000 students.