Weekly Letter (Apr 10 ’17)

Dear Parents and Students,

We are now in the last few days of the Liturgical Season of Lent with Palm Sunday yesterday and Holy Week this week. For those unfamiliar with the story it was on Palm Sunday that Jesus went to Jerusalem. Some thought He was going to proclaim a new earthly kingdom, some welcomed this, some feared this, but few if any knew that His kingdom was not to be “earthly.”

“Palm Sunday” refers to the fact that many laid down palm branches to pave the road for Jesus just as we now might roll out a red carpet for a special dignitary. Crowds greeted Him with joy and enthusiasm. But as the following week unfolded, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, arrested and beaten, abandoned by His friends, condemned to death and crucified. This is not the foundation of any earthly kingdom. Were we to stop at the crucifixion, Christianity would simply be a failed social experiment.

But Christians believe that there is more to the story. We firmly believe that on the Sunday after His execution, Jesus rose from the dead. When the disciples went to His gravesite that Sunday morning, they found an empty tomb. An angel told them, “He is not here, He is risen.” Even death could not hold power over Jesus and He promises us that as his sisters and brothers we too are called to an eternal life in God’s loving presence.

Until this year, I was Star’s 6th grade Religion teacher and from time to time students would ask me why or how I believed this story. For me the answer is simple. I was taught this article of faith throughout my life by family, Sisters of Mercy, Christian Brothers and Jesuits. But more than that, I too have lost loved ones to death. If I was not absolutely sure of their continued life in God’s loving presence, I do not know how I could continue to exist. Yet, I continue to live, to laugh, to love and to learn. The love I shared with those I seem to have lost is just as real today as it was when they were with me here. The resurrection is real, the promise of eternal life is true. May God’s love be clearly present to us all as we conclude Lent and move towards the joyful celebration of Easter.

God Bless You All,

Terrence Hanley


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