I’ve just returned from our second ASC retreat in St. Louis, and I am feeling very refreshed. I’ve just accepted a full-time position teaching French in the Boys Division here at Regis Jesuit High School (Denver, CO), for next year. Girls varsity soccer is well underway. I am loving my Spanish classes this semester. I feel nothing but spiritual consolation when I think of all I have done here at RJ. However, I have come to find through both my experience and that of my fellow ASCs, that this is often a thankless job.
This fact used to bother me until I revisited St. Ignatius’ prayer for generosity. The last line of the prayer says, “Save that of knowing that I do your will.” The context of this prayer, for those unfamiliar, is a prayer asking God to give you consolation and peace for the work and sacrifices you do and make, especially when others don’t. It makes me feel better about doing the amount of work I do, which doesn’t always measure up to the recognition I get. The prayer is humbling. I pray it often, now. Because while serving of any type can be a thankless job, I remember that I don’t need thanks, I don’t need gifts or rewards, or any recognition. I only need find happiness in doing God’s work, and I like to think I am doing that. This, in turn, makes the recognition and the thanks and the gifts even more meaningful to me. To my fellow ASCs, who often feel unappreciated, I hope you, too, will take pride and find consolation in that you are doing God’s work, and regardless of what others may not acknowledge about your work, it is acknowledged, and it is valuable. ASC matters. You and I matter, both to our schools and the mission of the Catholic Church. We have been asked to give of the most precious thing in the world: time. Many of you feel desolation when praying and thinking about the future. You have my continued prayers. God’s timing is perfect, and while now it may seem unclear, it will be revealed to you soon. To those reading this who support our work, thank you for your prayers and continued support.
There have been many times when I’ve asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” There have been times when myself and other ASCs have been taken advantage of. While we are here to serve, we also can only do so much, and sometimes our presence has been taken for granted without asking for our input. To those who have, unknowingly or not, forgotten we are also faculty, also teachers and coaches, and most importantly also colleagues, I forgive you and it is in the past. I only ask that our institutions, with and for whom we diligently and faithfully serve, be mindful of just how much is asked at times. We are here for a reason, because ASC matters. But also, ASCs matter. I think I speak for Cohort 27 when I say we have loved every minute and every sacrifice, and we have loved our work and continue to love our work regardless of the few rough patches. Personally, my time at RJ has been life changing. I work with and for incredible people; I teach and coach phenomenal young men and women; my faith grows exponentially each day; and lastly, I finally feel like I’ve found some consolation from this year, this incredible, transforming, challenging year. To my fellow ASCs, Regis Jesuit, the ASC program, and God, thank you for being able to give and receive so much. ASC matters, so very much.