Fr. Matthew J. Nicks is the President and Canonical Administrator of Walla Walla Catholic Schools. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
To the families and friends of Walla Walla Catholic Schools,
“Be who you are and be that well.” St. Francis de Sales’ wisdom seems familiar to our ears. It is the sort of saying one could imagine hearing in a secular context. However, in the context of faith, it is both deeper and more compelling. It acknowledges that who we are, with all our uniqueness, is willed by God. At the same time, it recognizes that the goodness instilled in us by God can grow to an ever-greater fullness. This recognition of the God given goodness of each child and the potential for this goodness to further flourish animates the mission of our Walla Walla Catholic Schools.
We have an opportunity unlike any other institution. We do not simply impart skills or knowledge; we do not merely provide an experience. Our schools are a place for our children to encounter Christ, the perfect man, and be transformed by him. His presence in our schools is the defining characteristic of Catholic education. He is the perfect teacher, guide, model, and friend for our students. Indeed, our schools are a place of encounter with the Risen Lord, not only for our students, but for our faculty, staff, families, and the broader community as well.
On the surface, what our students do may seem indistinguishable from other schools. They study the arts and sciences, play sports, make friends and serve others. Yet there is a difference, all these activities are vivified and elevated by faith. Our students are taught that the truth and beauty found in the arts and sciences reflect that which is found in God. They learn that the unity and mutual encouragement necessary for sports is just as truly necessary for the life of faith. They are taught that friendship is more than the enjoyment of another’s company, but an opportunity to support one another in virtue. They serve others not merely out of a sense of altruism, but as ones inspired by Christ and for love of him. The education for life that our students receive is not only for this life, but for the next as well.
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!