“And what about you?” Pope Francis adopted this question from Pope Leo XIII to a woman who became known as Saint Katherine Drexel. The question was the central theme of the Pope’s homily on Saturday, September 26, 2015, in Philadelphia (coincidentally a word that means love among people), which he delivered in Spanish.
In the beginning, he focused on the importance of providing to young people the tools and inspiration they need to live meaningfully in response to religious teachings. His first question was "What are you doing to help young people understand the beauty of a religiously inspired life?" The question was poignant for me.
I immediately thought of our school community. “¿Y tu?”—“Si.”
I thought of as many individuals as I could catalog who have worked at the school as groundskeepers, faculty, cookers, cleaners, coaches, contractors, guards, staff and administrators. “¿Y tu?” “Si”
I brought up visions of the range of volunteers --- parents and other friends of the school --- serving lunch to the students, arranging enjoyable events for every class and sport, making the E-Fund successful, maintaining the high standards of the Parents’ Guild endeavors, speaking to classes, helping with clubs, and much more. “¿Y tu?” “Si”.
I thought of the complex role of parents in creating the typical morning scene on campus with parents dropping off students, making it possible (financially and otherwise) for children to be part of the school and to be exposed to the academic-arts-physical-spiritual facets of our mission. “¿Y tu?” “Si.”
All of this reflection made me feel quite positive about our work together at the school. For a little while, I moved on into the day being able to answer “Yes” to the Pope’s challenging question. It did not take long, though, for the Holy Spirit to show up, pointing toward latent opportunities and warning against hubris. I realized I had enjoyed answering his question by looking at the past. The question is about the future.
I will be asking myself “¿Y tu?” on a regular basis for a while. Join me in that, please. Who knows, practicing here on earth on that answer may prove worthwhile a little further down the trail.
I invite you to release your time, talent and treasure into wild support of the school that is answering the call every day to guide students toward purposeful lives informed by morality and ethics derived from faith.