The Three BricklayersThree men were putting up a building on a wide and spacious lot. A stranger passing by stopped awhile to watch. The worker nearest him was doggedly placing brick on brick.
“Warm day”, said the stranger. “What are you doing?”
Without glancing up the man replied, “I’m laying bricks”.
The stranger strolled on. A little farther he stopped again beside another bricklayer and repeated his question.
“Fine day, “ he said. “What are you doing?”
The second man slapped on some more mortar, glanced at the stranger and said, “I’m earning twenty dollars a day”.
Around the corner of the building, the stranger found a third bricklayer, who whistled as he worked. Again he asked what the man was doing. With careful precision the workman finished laying a brick. He straightened up, stepped back and slowly surveyed the unfinished building.
With pride in his voice he replied, “I’m building a cathedral”. .
There are so many times when I reduce what I’m doing to merely a function. There are times I reduce what I’m about to only "running a school," or “making a living.” And then there are times when I step back and realize that my life, my purpose, my vocation, is much bigger than myself and even what I’m doing.
What we are about as Catholic school educators is much more than sponsoring a fundraiser, hosting a book fair, analyzing ITBS tests scores or reviewing Progress Reports...what we are about, is creating 'Cathedrals.' Each and every child is a Cathedral in the making and our mission is about them. Let’s keep that as our focus.
Let our lives and our ministry be about the Cathedrals that fill our schools every day. Let our leadership be about our staff, our children and our families. A faith-filled community of educators provide the infrastructure for the Cathedral to flourish. At times we are the mortar and at others we are the architects of these magnificent edifices—but as leaders we must let our teachers, staff children and parents be the builders. Day by day...brick by brick...we assist them by inspiring them to the see big picture of the Cathedral in the making.
Personally, the lives we lead, the jobs we have, and the relationships we are involved in assist us in building up the lives of our children and the community we are called to serve. When we forget about the big picture of building Cathedrals our lives become reduced to meaningless tasks. Because of our busy lives we sometimes lose sight of our Mission...our staff...our children...our Cathedrals in the making.
As we embark upon our school year, let us create a new year of opportunities. Let us stay on fire with our our Mission. We are not about just “doing things”--we are about forming children’s minds, hearts, and souls. We are creating Cathedrals!
Thank you for being part of the Church's Mission of Catholic education.