Weekly Letter (Jan 25 ’16)

Dear Parents and Students,

From time to time I ask my 6th grade Religion students what they think are God’s greatest gifts to us. They come up with great answers that range from something as simple as “ice cream” to “transubstantiation.” We work on a class list and then discuss and debate until we get it down to our top ten. Invariably “reconciliation’ makes the cut. It may not be number one, but all of us recognize our own flaws (at least some of them) and are so grateful for the gift of reconciliation.

When I was a kid in the 1960s we usually referred to the Sacrament of Reconciliation as “Penance” or “Confession” and both are parts of Reconciliation. But so is recognizing a fragile or broken relationship. So is realizing that the relationship is of more value than being right. And finally so is rebuilding that relationship.

It isn’t always easy to reconcile. It takes courage. You have to believe that the other party wants to reconcile as much as you do. You may still believe that you were the aggrieved party and that someone owes you a big apology. But sometimes the other guy feels just the same way. If we don’t push through that impasse, we may never reconcile and then we have all lost.

The Liturgical Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (February 10 this year). I am already thinking about what I need to do. Of course, I’ll give up Diet Pepsi again, try not to yell at the kids so much, and work on improving my prayer life, but I think I also have some reconciling to do in both my personal and professional life. I know Sandra, Kelly and Mike will walk with me, I hope that you will too. We are after all, stronger united than divided.

God Bless You All,


Terrence Hanley


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