Summer is an important time for our Diocesan Catholic Schools as they prepare for the upcoming school year. One vital step, especially for the Administration, is to ensure they have excellent teachers in place in our classrooms for incoming students this fall. Teaching for the Diocese comes with many benefits; for instance, as an elementary school teacher in the Diocese of Fall River Catholic schools, you can obtain a Master of Education degree with Massachusetts certification through our partnership with Bridgewater State University at a 90% discount. Most importantly, Catholic school teachers can work in a faith-filled environment helping to nurture the whole child — mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
To learn more about open positions, including non-teaching positions, please visit the Catholic Schools Alliance careers page: https://www.catholicschoolsalliance.org/job-opportunities.
Over my years as Bishop here in the Diocese, I have been blessed to make many school visits, to attend special events and graduations. I enjoy my time in the schools, getting to know the students, hearing their stories, and seeing how excited and proud they are of their schools.
I always enjoy celebrating Mass, presiding at graduation, and connecting with the students in our schools. One of the things I vividly recall from this school year was the quality of the speeches of the valedictorians during the High School graduations. Each valedictorian delivered a powerful speech and spoke eloquently of their gratitude for Catholic education and their dreams for the future. These young people were going to Harvard, MIT, Princeton, etc. They reflected on the hope to make a difference in the world. They spoke of using their gifts and talents not strictly for themselves but to help build a better world for us all.
Some of the Diocese’s 2023 Graduations
World Youth Day Preview
A pilgrimage, in its simplest definitions, is embarking upon a physical journey to seek an encounter with the Lord. It is a step away from one’s normal routine of life to focus on one’s spiritual well-being and to grow stronger in faith. World Youth Day (WYD), an international festival of faith, takes place typically every two-three years and draws pilgrims from around the world. World Youth Day began in 1986 as an initiative inaugurated by St. John Paul II to bring young people from around the world together to encounter Christ and the universal Church. This year’s WYD theme is “I’m with you.”
The 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro had an incredible atmosphere of respect, unity, and prayerfulness throughout all of the World Youth Day events. I still remember at the closing Mass on Copacabana Beach—where 2.5 million people were gathered—how everyone sang when it was time to sing, responded when it was time to respond, but then were absolutely silent when it was time to be prayerfully quiet. Remarkable for any crowd of that size, but even more so when one considers this one consisted primarily of young people. It illustrates how they were touched by the power of prayer, by the Word of God, by the presence of each other, and by the presence of our Supreme Shepherd, the Pope. In no other place, with such a crowd, could we experience such a prayerful and spiritually rich environment.
Twenty-four pilgrims from our Diocese, mostly teenagers and young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 from parishes across the diocese, will join hundreds of thousands of young adults, in Lisbon, Portugal, from Tuesday, August 1 to Sunday, August 6, 2023. I am happy to be able to join up with the group in Lisbon and will be among 700 bishops, including Pope Francis, attending from across the globe. Currently, there are over half a million registered for WYD, with many from other countries expected to come and register onsite.
Accompanying our Diocesan pilgrims will be David Carvalho, the secretary for the New Evangelization in the diocese, and Oscar Rivera Jr., the diocesan director of Youth Ministry. Additionally, Oscar has been invited to lead an XLT (an Adoration event with praise and worship with a faith teaching) with Life Teen. WYD offers sessions in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish; Oscar will present in the English session, offering a unique opportunity for a member of our diocese to reach so many young people. I will lead a Holy Hour for the diocesan delegation prior to their participation in the WYD Welcome Ceremony.
I am looking forward to traveling once again to Portugal, having been there last August to preside over the International Pilgrimage at the Sanctuary of Fatima in Portugal. I will include thoughts and experiences from our World Youth Day pilgrimage in upcoming August blogs.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha