On September 30th Mount Royal Academy was pleased to welcome Mr. Patrick Reily and Dr. Dan Guernsey of the Cardinal Newman Society to campus. Dr. Guersney, Director of the Catholic Honor Roll, presented MRA with the ‘School of Excellence’ recognition, a feat awarded to less than 5% of Catholic schools in America.
Below is a text of the introductory remarks offered by Mr. Derek Tremblay, Headmaster Elect of Mount Royal Academy.
Mr. Patrick Riley and Dr. Dan Guersney, on behalf of the families, faculty, students, as well as the Board of Directors, I welcome you to Mount Royal Academy. We are honored by your presence, but we are also grateful for the valuable service offered by the organization which you represent.
The Cardinal Newman Society and Catholic Honor Roll perform an essential mission for the Church. In the last decade, numerous trends highlight the challenges Catholic elementary and secondary schools are facing in a changing culture. Between the 2004 and the 2014 school years, 1,856 schools were reported closed or consolidated (23.2%); the number of students declined by nearly 23%. Coinciding with a general decline in the number of Catholic schools and enrollment is a renewal movement. More and more Catholic institutions are returning to the classical curriculum.
I think the mission of the Cardinal Newman Society and Catholic Honor Roll is an influential factor in the renewal of Catholic education. Your mission is based on one simple truth: Catholic education is an extension of the Catholic Church. If any Catholic school is going to be successful, it must first be authentically Catholic. Cultivating a school culture that not only embraces every facet of our faith, but also applies the truths of our faith in every corner of the mission maintains and enhances institutional success. It is important to note that our idea of success is radically different than other institutions. I love Mother Theresa’s simple but appropriate quote: “God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.”
Your role Mr. Riley and Dr. Guersney is a vital factor in the continuing success of Catholic education. We are in the business of making saints so to speak. I think your service to Catholic education helps us all remember that the Catholic standard of success is worth the price of our very lives. Parents, faculty, and students collectively give their lives for this cause. The sacrifices are limitless. But this is all done because we know the pearl which we have found.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,* which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.
Thank you for calling us to a higher standard. Thank you for affirming us as we joyfully labor and struggle to evangelize the youth. And thank you for your service to the Church.
I now introduce to you, Mr. Patrick Riley.