by Diana Welsh-Struby, Chair, Bright Futures Fund
As I enjoy these early days of the fall season, I’m delighted—as always—to visit the schools Bright Futures supports and witness the fresh young faces of our diverse student populations. Yet I’m also reminded of all the faces that walked our halls in year’s past. We have such a deep, multi-generational tradition in our Catholic schools. Our beloved alumni are our most blessed legacy. As one of these alumni, I feel compelled to offer a few words of reflection.
We need to keep our connections strong. We need to honor where we’ve been; we need to remember, recognize and revere those who made it possible to be the loving communities of education, faith and hope that we are today.
Saint Stephens, Our Lady of Peace, Assumption, Saint Anthony, Saint Michaels and Holy Rosary were all—at one time—grand traditions of Catholic education. Today that tradition continues at Holy Cross. We are fortunate indeed to have Barbara Deane serve as the school’s principal.
As much as life has changed over the years, the abiding belief in the value of a Catholic education has remained at the core of so much good in our complicated world. Over the years Catholics such as ourselves have come from all over the world to settle in neighborhoods around Kansas City. At one time the area where Holy Cross is now located was a proud Italian community brimming with proud Italian families. The roots of many of today’s Catholic families—such as the Cosentino and Barreca families—first prayed and went to school and came together as community in Kansas City’s Northeast neighborhood. Yes, we all come from somewhere and as we assimilate, we also seek to maintain the culture that deeply defines us.
We must work hard to maintain our Catholic culture and traditions. As the new school year gets underway, I encourage all of us to remember the grand traditions of years gone by and to thank those who led the way to the beloved Church we are today.
"Please let me know if you’d like to join an informal group of alumni who attended Our Lady of Hope or one of the other loving, caring Catholic Schools that nurtured our community for so many years."