Good morning, Friends and Family of Notre Dame Schools,
On the frontlines of addressing this global pandemic are good, courageous, hardworking people serving humanity in grocery stores, doctor’s offices, hospitals, pharmacies, gas stations, and in neighborhoods across our world.
This morning, I was inspired by Mikey Welsh ‘21, NDCL student-athlete and hardworking Heinen’s cashier. With spirit and grace, Mikey keeps showing up to his job, ensuring that thousands in our community continue to have safe food available in our homes. We are naturally scared and alarmed by the dizzying pace of shutdown and the acceleration of the pandemic. Mikey acknowledged “sales in the store are greater than at Thanksgiving time.” And so, we are buying food, caring for our families and loved ones, and adapting to a new way of life.
What I saw in Mikey is what I hope is present throughout our world right now: Joy, sacrifice, care, effort, honesty, leadership. At Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin and Notre Dame Elementary Schools, our mission is “to educate leaders to transform the world, as Jesus did, by living the truth in love.” In Mikey this morning, I witnessed to a young adult stepping into the fray, transforming the world by his demeanor, his work, and by his life.
All of us are adapting as best we can. All of us are dealing with extraordinary pressure in our work, with our health, and because of our necessary isolation. It is in this understanding that I have hope, real hope that we will rise from this moment with greater conviction to love one another. At home as our children begin their online learning, we are called to be patient and present. At home, we face important decisions about our work and businesses and the lives of the people we employ. All of us witness to the tragedies in Italy and throughout the world, and to the panic gripping stock markets and governments. Yet, day-by-day, we are called to deepen our faith, to call upon our resolve to shore up our gratitude, and to exhibit a resilient, and even joyful, attitude. I believe we can do this. Mikey is just one of our 1215 students and over 25,000 alumni who embolden me with this hope. I am so thankful to Mikey and to each of you, knowing how readily you are sacrificing and serving your families, neighborhoods, and workplaces. Though we are not present to one another in person right now, know that you are in our hearts and in our prayers.
We are making choices each day in our lives to endure challenges and to ensure resurrection. We are three weeks from Easter and called to prepare our hearts and lives for the good news of God’s presence in this life and the next. We are called to sacrifice, and there is a time for every season.
Plans from a few weeks ago need to change, and we adapt. For the common good, we temporarily close school campuses, restaurants, and churches. For the common good, we postpone galas and online auctions. For the common good, we are focusing precisely where we need to be: embodying faith, hope, and love. May you each be the change you wish to see in the world.
Though in our lives, we have not witnessed this moment or this pandemic season before, I know we will survive, we will deepen our faith, and we will expand our hearts. May you be a living example today of a leader who is transforming the world by your attitude, your thoughts, your words, and your actions. Exhibit habits of mind and demeanor and demonstrate the character of the person you wish to be – as each of us lives through this crisis, moment by moment discovering the graces present in these new days.
For us at Notre Dame Schools, know that we will continue to educate leaders to transform the world, and we thank you for your love and support.
May you know God’s goodness and provident care in this time and in all ways,
Michael Bates, Ed.D.