Principal’s Message for February 17, 2019

Craig Palmer

For this week’s Principal’s Message, I’d like to start by making a correction to my message of 1/20/19. In that message, I stated that, “
The star of the film sets out to make a difference and not accept the way the native Africans are treated by the mostly German rulers of the country”. This was in the late 1930’s. As pointed out to me by a parishioner, the Dutch were in control of South Africa just prior to WWII. In the film, the star of the film was persecuted for his kindness to the native Africans by “Afrikaners” sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazi cause, not Germans. Thank you to the parishioner who pointed this out!
Along the lines of the opening paragraph, it has become very distressing to see just how polarized our country, and the world for that matter, has become. I know each and every generation says that “it’s never been this bad”, but I truly believe in its effort to become more “inclusive”, society has done just the opposite. Society seems to have become more divisive than I can ever remember. The divisions have led to people not having the ability to conduct a productive conversation with the sharing of ideas and opinions. All of a sudden, if you don’t agree with one side or the other, you’re shouted down, insulted, branded as this or that, and sometimes threatened by violence. There seems to be no room for differing opinions, and the term “agree to disagree” has been replaced by the need to silence other points of view or destroy someone’s credibility that sees it differently.
At Saint Mary School, we attempt to foster an atmosphere and attitude of tolerance. The need to listen to all sides of a debate and process what we’ve heard through the lens of our Catholic faith enables us to present a well-informed and well-developed rebuttal to questions that are posed to us. This approach not only allows for a calm discussion, but builds a mutual respect among its participants, providing a foundation for future discussions. This approach needs to be utilized whether it is in politics, business, academia, or, in the most important forum of all, evangelization. The most successful approach to bringing someone to the Faith is through a firm understanding of Catholicism and coming to the conversation from a place of love. When presented in this fashion, it is very difficult for the “hearer” not to be attracted to what he/she hears and sees. This is what we hope to develop in our students at SMS, not what’s portrayed in the media and in society today.             
Please check our website, Facebook page and the Church bulletin for updates and upcoming events that you can enjoy with us. Please continue to pray for our school, its staff, students and families, and our clergy as we strive to provide an education that is unapologetically Catholic, family centered, caring to others and respectful to all. “It’s a great day to be a Saint!”
God bless you all,
Craig Palmer, Principal