A very happy Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier to us all! Today, in a particular way, we celebrate the life and work of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of the Brothers, upon whose intercession we all rely for our work and vocation as educators in the Xaverian tradition!
Today’s special readings for the Memorial of St. Francis Xavier help us to understand the foundation of a Xaverian education, which is the call to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As noted in today’s special first reading (1 Cor 9), we have an “obligation” as a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School to “preach” this good news with the hope of drawing our sisters and brothers closer to the mission of St. Francis Xavier. His mission, and ours too, calls us to be evangelizers of the Gospel message—a message of love, joy, and inclusiveness as we come to appreciate all people as created in God’s image and likeness. Whether a student, parent, faculty/staff member, or alumnus, we seek inspiration in the work and life of St. Francis Xavier as he went to other parts of the world “to win over as many as possible” in hopes of bringing all those who were in need closer to Christ and His love for “all creatures.”
In the Fundamental Principles of the Xaverian Brothers, we see a similar message as related in today’s special Gospel reading for the Memorial of St. Francis Xavier. Just as Jesus commissioned the eleven in the Gospel to whom he appeared “‘to go into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature,’” (Gospel Mk) so too have the Brothers, though the inspiration of St. Francis Xavier, worked tirelessly “to follow in His footsteps and minister God’s healing touch of love, through word and deed, to all whom [they] meet in [their] journey of life” (Fundamental Principles). These words resonate with us all today and always as we seek to be followers of Christ through word and action in the hopes of being agents of justice and change in the challenging world in which we live. May we reflect on the life and work of St. Francis Xavier and the Brothers today and always, and may we always look to live out the mission of St. Francis Xavier and the Brothers as true disciples in Christ. St. Francis Xavier, pray for us!
—Mike Orlando, Assistant Principal for Mission and Identity