Kolbe Academy and Trinity Prep Embraced by Diocese of Santa Rosa
I had the privilege of attending Kolbe Academy/Trinity Prep’s graduation this past Saturday. On a perfect day in Napa, CA, families and friends gathered in the school’s grassy courtyard. Nine high schoolers and nine 8th graders were handed diplomas by the Most Rev. Bishop Robert Vasa, Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa. His Excellency presided over the graduation proceedings and delivered the commencement address.
Bishop Vasa began his commencement remarks by praising Kolbe/Trinity’s authentic, unconditional proclamation of the Catholic faith. He said that the school is “…a model and an exemplar for the depth and appreciation of the Catholic faith, which I hope to be part of every parish and every school of the diocese.” Kolbe/Trinity has met the three essential criteria he has set for schools in his diocese: Catholic identity, academic excellence and keeping Catholic education affordable for families.
In particular remarks addressed to the high school graduates, Bishop Vasa likened Kolbe/Trinity to an “island of spiritual concentration.” He described the students’ time at Kolbe/Trinity as a precious period in their lives during which they were supported and nurtured in a unique environment, living in a community of faith that strengthened and reinforced their love of God and its expression in every facet of their lives. Their mind, heart and soul was formed by their experience at Kolbe/Trinity to embrace their Catholic faith and, in whatever vocation God is calling them, to be confident disciples of Christ in the world.
Wherever they find themselves after leaving Kolbe/Trinity, Bishop Vasa urged them to find or make their own “island of spiritual concentration”. He told them to seek out devoted Catholic groups. If there weren’t any, then form their own; even if it was just one or two other fellow Catholics, come together regularly to pray and celebrate the faith. “When you bond together, then you reinforce the strength of the values that you have received here”, he told them.
He used the example of the disciples, who in the days between the Ascension and Pentecost isolated themselves in a locked room — their “island of spiritual concentration”. They prayed and celebrated the Eucharist. They grew in confidence in their submission to God’s will; strengthened and emboldened by the support they gave one another. After Pentecost, they went their separate ways to preach the Gospel, but came back together regularly to celebrate the Eucharist, re-strengthened and reinvigorated through their prayer and community.
In his closing prayer, Bishop Vasa read from the official diocesan proclamation declaring Kolbe/Trinity a Catholic school in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. It was a touching affirmation and personal blessing of the work and efforts of everyone at Kolbe/Trinity.
God bless Bishop Vasa as he works to promote and preserve faithful Catholic education in his diocese.