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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
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Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy

News of the Diocese

February 2, 2023

Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy
Elementary, high school students gather for annual Catholic Schools Week liturgy

“Happy Catholic Schools Week,” said Bishop Edward Malesic as he greeted students, faculty, administrators, clergy, parents and others from 40 Catholic schools – elementaries and high schools – from across the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland. They took time to gather for the annual Catholic Schools Week Mass on Jan. 31 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

The bishop was the celebrant with Auxiliary Bishop Michael Woost and other priests concelebrating. The choir and musicians from Lake Catholic High School led the music. Students from other high schools also participated in the liturgy as altar servers, gift bearers and readers.

(See photo gallery above.)

“You are the face of a very diverse Church,” Bishop Malesic told the congregation. “And you, the youth of our Church, are not the future of our Church. You are an important part of our Church right now. In fact, Scripture tells us that it is sometimes the little children who lead us. You certainly lead us by moving our hearts and making us want to give you our best,” the bishop said. “Boys and girls, young men and women, you draw out the best in us. I hope we also draw out the best in you.”

He told them the purpose of the liturgy was to give thanks for the Catholic schools which are a gift to us. “Your school is a gift to you. I will often say it. God gives us gifts to be used to benefit us and to benefit others, so use the gift of your school well.”

He encouraged the students to use the gift of time to study, grow, mature and learn what it means to follow Jesus. “Time is a great gift. Don’t waste it,” he added.

The bishop also urged the students to take advantage of their time in athletics to build up their bodies and stamina and to develop the ability to work together as a team. “Your body is a gift. Make it strong.”

He told them art class is a gift that can help them see the beauty of creation and to help adorn the world while music speaks to the human heart. “A world without music would be a very dull world,” the bishop said.

In addition, they should use the wonders of science and the understanding of math and engineering to build better bridges, create better medicines, find ways to adapt to or reverse climate change and more. “The sciences area a gift to us from God who made heaven and earth,” he added.

English class and courses in humanities help us understand the complexities of the human race, to overcome racism and other prejudices and to learn how to live together in greater harmony and peace. He mentioned the recent killing of a young Black man in Memphis, Tennessee and the ensuing outcry, reminding them that God has given us gifts to build up the world according to his plan of love.

“Use the gifts of your minds to do great things. God has blessed you in so many ways. Discover your gifts. Develop your gifts. Use your gifts,” the bishop said, “and be thankful for all that God has given you.”

He also reminded the congregation that they area more than brain and blood, bone and flesh, explaining that each person has a soul, something they are reminded of daily in their Catholic school.

“You are more than what people see. Don’t let people define you by how you look on the outside. There is an important part of you that you know is there, put in you by God – your soul. It is very beautiful because it contains the fingerprint of God. Your soul, united to Christ in baptism, makes you a child of God.”

In the Gospel, Jesus called a child to himself. He wants to be with them, the bishop told the students. “He wants to lift you up and be your peace, your hope and your life.”

He also reminded them that God has a plan for each of them and knows their great potential. “You know, when we see little acorn, God sees a great oak tree,” he said.

Bishop Malesic reflected on some people in Scriptures like Moses who had a speech impediment. However, God would not let that define Moses. Instead, God saw him as the man who would speak to Pharaoh and set his people free.

God also saw greatness in young David who went on to slay the giant Goliath. And in Mary, a teenager, he said the mother of his only son.

“Peter said to Jesus, ‘Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.’ But Jesus would not let Peter be defined by his sins,” the bishop said. Instead, he saw great faith in Peter and made him the first pope of the Catholic Church.

The bishop surmised that Jesus calls little children to himself because he sees their innocence, trust and their future. “He saw them becoming saints one day. Every child of God is destined for eternal happiness.”

The highway to heaven has many lanes, the bishop said, noting some people will be called to various vocations or careers including parents, religious men or women, teachers, artists, doctors, nurses, etc. What’s most important is that each person does what God is asking of them.

The Church celebrated the feast of St. John Bosco on Jan 31. He was known as a teacher of youth and devoted his life to young people, establishing schools, youth centers, etc. He also published books to help form young people as good Christians and productive citizens. “He saw something good in them. He saw a spark of God in them, “Bishop Malesic said.

He urged the students to use the gift of their Catholic school formation well so that they would “find great blessing in this life and eternal happiness in the next. That is the promise Jesus makes to you. And Jesus always keeps his promise,” he said.

After Mass, the bishop reinforced his message to the students before posing with various school groups for photos.

Catholic Schools Week continues through Feb. 4 in the diocese and across the country. This year’s theme is Faith. Excellence. Service. Schools across the diocese are celebrating with open houses, Masses and other special events throughout the week.

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