Dear Ursuline Family,
It is with great pleasure that we begin the 146th school year at Ursuline Academy of Dallas.
Know what an honor it is for me to serve such an incredible community, one dedicated to preserving and advancing a Catholic educational institution of the highest standard of academic excellence and social responsibility.
St. Angela Merici, who founded the Order of St. Ursula almost 485 years ago, left us a legacy of how to live - to be open, gracious, hospitable, and filled with joy. The ethos of any Catholic school is its spirituality, and ours is a spirituality based in hospitality, a trait that scripture scholars and church historians have discovered played a critical role in distinguishing Christianity and its rise. In his book, The Rise of Christianity, Rodney Stark writes, “Christianity revitalized life in Greco-Roman cities by providing new norms and new kinds of social relationships…To cities filled with homeless and impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered an immediate basis for attachments. To cities filled with orphans and widows, Christianity provided a new and expanded sense of family.”
Ursuline Academy, in its own special way, is a symbol of Stark’s description of Christianity. We are a caring, nurturing, family-oriented community that welcomes newcomers. Our girls build authentic relationships and learn early on the importance of being inclusive. Demonstrations of compassion and understanding are prevalent in their actions. I truly believe that St. Angela would be proud of our educational apostolate and, indeed, satisfied that her legacy is not only alive and well, but continues to flourish.
Today, August 15, is the day that Catholics have long celebrated the Feast of the Assumption, as we celebrate both the happy departure of Mary from this life by her natural death, and her assumption bodily into heaven. The Feast of the Assumption has always been loved dearly by the faithful who are children of Mary. It is a sign to us that someday, through God's grace and our efforts, we too may join the Blessed Mother in giving glory to God. The Assumption is a source of great hope for us, too, for it points the way for all followers of Christ who imitate her fidelity and obedience to God's will. Where she now is, we are meant eventually to be, and may hope to be through Divine grace. We seek to imitate her self-sacrificing love, her indestructible faith and her perfect obedience.
On behalf of the Academy, allow me to welcome everyone back to the Walnut Hill Lane campus. Please join me in praying for a successful school year.
Yours in Christ,
Gretchen Z. Kane