Dear Marist School Community,
I pray that you and your family are safe and well. We all find ourselves in a moment of time that we never could have imagined. Our local communities, our nation, and our world are challenged by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and its potential devastating impact on our health and well-being. You are an important part of the Marist School community, and I wanted to write to let you know that, during this time of uncertainty, Marists around the world are praying a novena for all those impacted and afflicted by the virus.
The end of this week will mark a milestone in Marist School’s history—our first full week of fulfilling our important mission through virtual learning. I am grateful for the inventiveness of our faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond to adapt to our changed circumstances. Now that we have embarked upon virtual learning, I must say, our students and faculty seem to be embracing it wholeheartedly. It is exciting to see the excellent education for which Marist is known happening in new and innovative ways. We look forward to sharing some of those stories with you in the near future.
We, like those at other schools, had to grapple with difficult decisions to get to this point, and we will continue to make those essential decisions to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We let students and parents know earlier today that our virtual learning will continue through at least April 15. We will reevaluate at that point and do what is called for to protect the most vulnerable among us.
Our Alumni Office, too, is engaging in the creative spirit, seeking new ways for our 10,000+ alumni to stay connected with Marist School, as well as with each other, despite the fact that spring alumni events have been cancelled or postponed. More information will be available on our new alumni initiatives soon.
Through this time of concern, we remain motivated by the Marist value we phrase as ardent love of neighbor. By staying home, social distancing, and following the precautions laid out for us by public health officials, we are caring for those who are the least able to fight the virus, aiding the committed healthcare workers on the front lines, and acknowledging the need to do everything we can to attempt to prevent this highly contagious virus from spreading so quickly.
This is an extraordinary time for us, but Marist School has never been an ordinary place. Our distinctive spirit guides us as we maintain the tradition of excellence that defines the Marist educational experience, even though we are now educating in ways we never envisioned. Our school’s mission has always inspired us to do more and to rely on one another in times of trouble. Today, that inspiration and connection to each other is even more powerful. I look forward to the time when we can all be together again in person.
Until then, I urge you to lean into your faith and follow St. Paul’s lead, “I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
In the name of Mary,
Fr. Bill Rowland, S.M.
P.S. I encourage you to stay connected with Marist School through our social media channels. Also, you can learn more about Marist’s response to the coronavirus crisis by visiting marist.com/covid-19.