Quietly embedded in the seal for Archbishop Spalding High School, is the declaration, "One in Christ." The originator and artisan who crafted these words obviously had in mind a purpose and plan for expressing the reason for the building and continued existence of our school. And the expression, "One in Christ" is both profound and utterly basic in its directness. Over the centuries, theological tomes have been written to illuminate and clarify precisely what "One in Christ" means, and presumably, what it doesn't mean. But, since the final brick was put in place and with the laying of the cornerstone and dedication of the school some years ago, students, teachers, administrators, support staff, alumni, friends and strangers alike, have chosen to clothe our motto "One in Christ" with utter simplicity.
So, for us, the Community of Archbishop Spalding High School, "One in Christ" represents both a reality and a challenge.
The reality, is our recognition that God, Father, Son and Spirit, comes first. We embrace the truth that the presence of the Lord within our school makes it a sacred space throughout, so that classroom, athletic field, science and computer wing, to name only a few locations, all become a level playing field for our community to meet the Lord on equal footing and with equal favor. And the divine "engines" for those encounters with the Lord are the sacramental actions we share: Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, communal prayer, retreats, and a growing comfort and unselfconscious ease in invoking God's blessing on the work of our hearts and hands.
And the challenge, flowing from our awareness of the Lord's presence and benevolent care, is service: boldly taking our God-given, empowering gifts and quietly marching out the doors of Archbishop Spalding High School to encounter the other images of Christ, the suffering ones, the ones in pain of one kind or another, the sheep who limp. These, too, we recognize, are one, in Christ, with us. And so, we choose to care for them, without pomp or pretense, and once we have attempted to see to their needs, we just as carefully carry them to the Lord's arms so their wholeness may be complete.
"One in Christ". The result?...a pervasive, quite authentic joy, which, as the Lord has promised and we have experienced, no one can take from us. There is nothing quite like it. Really!
Father Tom Ryan