Feast of Saint John Paul the Great
October 22, 2020
This inaugural issue of DIA’s newsletter, The Cenacle, is a wonderful milestone for Duc In Altum Schools Collaborative. When five Catholic school headmasters and a chaplain began DIA in Denver five years ago, we could not have imagined the growth and enthusiasm that was to come for our organization. We are excited for what DIA has in store for you in this important ministry of Catholic education!
This month of October has been a full one for the Catholic Church. On the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, our Holy Father released his third encyclical, Fratelli tutti. Pope Francis has challenged us in many ways during his pontificate, and this epistle continues to do so. My Jesuit spiritual director has called it “prophetic”, and I am inclined to agree. As with Pope Francis’s other writings, there is much to unpack. The strong theme of fraternity in the document has resonated with me, particularly since that is what DIA espouses for those who have participated in the past five Summits and what we aspire to provide more of in the work ahead for DIA.
A week after Pope Francis signed his latest encyclical, our Church declared Carlo Acutis Blessed–the first millennial to have received this designation. What a model for our students and our youth! We hope you find ways to share Blessed Carlo’s story with your students. The Church needs such beautiful, new witnesses to inspire our next generation. Blessed Carlo Acutis, pray for us!
Today, we celebrate the Feast of DIA’s patron saint: Saint John Paul the Great. JP2’s pontificate defined my own upbringing in the Church; he was “my pope.” As with our Holy Father today and Pope Emeritus Benedict before him, St. John Paul the Great challenged us and continues to do so. DIA intentionally used the phrase he borrowed from the Gospel, “duc in altum,” for our organization and the active charge we have as part of the New Evangelization. Under his patronage, we are casting out, providing membership opportunities for Catholic schools, dioceses, and others who wish to grow in fraternity and fellowship to strengthen Catholic education in our country.
Finally, in less than a week, DIA hosts its sixth annual Summit, October 28 – 30. In one sense it was the growth of the Summit over the past five years that compelled DIA to answer to the call to “cast out deeper” and do more for our Catholic schools. We hope that you will join some or all of the Summit next week. We are also offering an institutional package so that schools or dioceses can use workshops for professional development opportunities at a later date during the school year.
Our next issue of The Cenacle is due out on January 4, 2021–the Feast of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. That same month, DIA will launch its monthly podcast, Follow to Lead, which we hope will inspire your students, their parents, your faculty, and others.
Until then, Saint John Paul the Great, pray for us!
Duc In Altum!
Kyle M. Pietrantonio
Executive Director, Duc In Altum Schools Collaborative