by Fr. Allain Caparas, Director of Catholic Identity
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THE JOY OF OUR CATHOLIC FAITH IS THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL
Recently, Pope Francis released his first apostolic exhortation entitled Evangelii Gaudium – or in English “The Joy of the Gospel.” It is a beautifully written document that truly challenges us to come out of our comfort zones. For example, the Holy Father reminds us of his dream for the Church to become once again as a Church that follows the “’missionary option’, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything.”
The mission of the Church, he reminds us, is not about “self-preservation,” but going out into the world and transforming the world. And we transform the world by sharing the “joy of the Gospel” that we have been privileged to receive.
The “joy of the Gospel” is what we Catholics are all about. And since I started my new role as Director of Catholic Identity at Gloucester Catholic, I have made it my personal work-ethic to infuse that “joy of the Gospel” that the Holy Father speaks about, in all that we do at Gloucester Catholic, and in all that I do as director and member of the faculty. As I often remind my students, “we’re here to preach the Good News – and when we say the ‘Good News’, we mean it!”
Since I came to Gloucester Catholic, I have noticed two things: First, the majority of the students who come to Gloucester Catholic, for the most part, do actually like going to Gloucester Catholic! Sure, students will always complain about homework assignments and tests, but I generally find most students feel very positive about their school.
Second, the teachers and staff who work at Gloucester Catholic actually love working here and care deeply about their students.
As a recent “outsider,” these two observations are very telling about how the “joy of the Gospel” has truly transformed Gloucester Catholic into a “family.” I have seen how students and teachers have reached out to the less-fortunate of our community, console those who are hurting, and bring a smile to those who are sad. I’ve witnessed not only the kindness and the generosity of our students and teachers to the poor, but above all how they “give” to others with joy. And I have seen you, members of our graduates and alumni give of yourselves, your gifts, and treasures so willingly and joyfully. That’s what Gloucester Catholic is about and that is what our faith as Catholics is all about — for the joy of our Catholic Faith is the joy of living out the Gospel!
Thank you for always willing to give back to Gloucester Catholic. Thank you for sharing your faith and your blessings with our students. Please know that you and your loved ones will be remembered in our daily Mass intentions at the Dominican Chapel. As we draw near in our celebration of Christmas, may we always remember that the true “joy of the Gospel” comes in allowing our encounter with Jesus to change us and in
turn change others. May the blessing of the Christ Child be with you and your loved ones.