This is the traditional Franciscan greeting with which I greet you and it is also a good springboard from which to introduce myself. You may have heard a bit about me but what do you really know about the new school chaplain? Just briefly this time, you might recall that I’m from Canada and that I’ve been a priest only three years and have spent those three in a parish north of the border. But prior to that I studied in a few cities in the States and have finally returned to this country do something I feel very privileged to do and be a part of: being your chaplain.
So what am I about? Well, true to the Franciscan spirit which is the religious family I belong time, in my service as a priest and chaplain I try to follow Christ in the way of St. Francis of Assisi. He is a saint and the founder of our religious order from the middle ages and whose name lives on in our current Pope’s name and the many friars, sisters and lay men and women who follow some form of the Franciscan way of life.
But as your chaplain and with the very strong backup of the chaplaincy team of Ms. McCarthy and Mrs. Birth, my aim is to be the school’s liaison to an all-loving God. And this is where the greeting comes in because peace – as you know, is the fruit of God’s grace stirring in our hearts. Yes, it is a dynamic experience and one that both calls us to never stop searching and yet assures us that in God our spirit finds its rest.
So, how do I accomplish this? Well, on the one hand I try to be that presence of peace and unconditional support to all but, being merely human and imperfectly dependent on the Lord, I go where I discern is well for me to go. I will thus go to where I feel there is a real need or desire for discussion, sharing or confiding and as someone who is a companion on the journey. Most of all though, I am here for you, students and teachers. So most of the time you will see me and I will simply be around and open for a quick thought, glance or greeting, should a moment arise that you wish to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation or need to receive the anointing of the sick or wish to speak about some deep issue or discernment you are going through, we can also meet up and I will be there for you.
Fr. Reto Davatz