Dear Friends in Christ,
Pope John Paul II exhorted young people of the world to "be not afraid" of Christ, and to "open wide the doors" to Him! The reason that the Holy Father continually preached on those themes was that in today's world many people are indeed afraid to open wide their hearts to the Lord. They harbor a suspicion deep-down that He will take something from them that is good, or in some way limit their self-realization and freedom. This suspicion is the fruit of sin in our lives and in our world - in a culture that continues to drift farther away from its Christian roots and bearing.
My hope for our students is that they will, in the time they have in our school, come to know the Lord Jesus as a friend: the One who has a future full of joy and hope in store for them. In the words of the Prophet Jeremiah, "I know well the plans for peace and not for affliction; plans for a future full of hope" (Jer 29:11). And that knowing Him as a friend, they will open their hearts wide to Him, with great trust.
This encounter with the Lord takes place within the context of the lived experience of His Church. Through liturgical worship, sacramental devotions, private meditation before the Blessed Sacrament in our school chapel, and opportunities for service, our students learn how to meet Christ Jesus in the context of their daily lives. He is not an abstraction: He is very real, very concrete, and wishes to accompany all of us through each moment of every day.
Christ is central to our school: whether you are coming or going - through the front Visitor's Entrance or the back Student Entrance - you have a meeting, as it were, with the Him. At our front entrance stands the beautiful Hall of Faith, with its majestic statue of the Sacred Heart. The Lord, with arms wide open, invites all to imitate Him and to have a heart-to-heart relationship with Him. At our back entrance, the line of sight leads directly through the glass doors of the chapel to the tabernacle, where Jesus awaits us in the Most Blessed Sacrament. There He is really and truly present, and waiting for our visit. And in addition to these main focal points of our school, there are holy images throughout that help to lift our minds and hearts to the Lord, so that we remember that He is with us always.
What good is a fine education and a successful career if, in the end, it does not lead us closer to God, whom we are called to be with for ever? This is the distinct advantage that our students have! They are given unique opportunities to meet the Lord: to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him, so that He will lead them through every moment of their lives to eternal life with Him. He invites us to open wide to Him, and to be not afraid!
With Pope John Paul II as our role model, then, this is our mission. Open wide the doors to Christ! Be not afraid! We await a future full of hope!
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Father Vincent Bresowar
Father Vincent Bresowar is a priest of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, and was named School Chaplain in 2011. In addition to his duties as chaplain, he is also the associate paster at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Huntsville where he serves both the Anglo and Hispanic communities. Fr. Bresowar grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and after high school attended Auburn University. After three years he left Auburn and joined the United States Air Force where he was stationed in Charleston, SC. When his enlistment was up, he came back to Birmingham and started to seriously discern his calling in life. It was after this that he began his studies for the priesthood at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans during the fall of 2005. He was ordained a priest on June 4th, 2011 and is very excited about being at Pope John Paul II Catholic High School. Fr. Bresowar loves being a priest and feels that God has many wonderful things in store for him and for all of his children who dare to say yes to Jesus Christ and his Church.