"When the Lord closes one door, He opens another." I don't know where this quote originated but I've heard it all of my life. Until today, though, it has never taken on such a literal meaning as Frassati Catholic High School opens its doors to students in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
After years of planning and praying, the school officially begins the process of leading students verso l'alto -- to the heights of moral and academic formation under the patronage of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. It is the first Catholic high school in the U.S. to bear his name. I imagine Pier Giorgio might consider this a "two-cigar day," as he famously characterized the feast of Saints Peter and Paul!
My direct involvement with the school was minimal consisting only of a presentation to the NHCHS Committee during the naming phase. It was exciting to read the announcement from Cardinal DiNardo after the decision was finalized. This school now joins other brick-and-mortar embodiments of the mission of FrassatiUSA, which include Frassati Catholic Academy, a middle school in the Archdiocese of Chicago; the Frassati House, serving the Catholic students at Vanderbilt University; Frassati Hall, the dining hall and commons building for students at Wyoming Catholic College; the Frassati Chapel at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Oklahoma, possibly the first academic institution to choose Blessed Pier Giorgio for its patron.
In addition to these structures, of course, are the numerous (too many to list!) fellowships, societies, groups, clubs, etc., that have formed, are forming and will form under the patronage of Blessed Pier Giorgio. And on top of that are the testimonies -- some quite powerful --received on a regular basis. All of these physical, social and spiritual manifestations of the steadily spreading spirituality of Blessed Pier Giorgio are, quite frankly, astounding.
And that's why there is such sweet irony in the timing of the opening of the new school in Texas at a time when the doors of FrassatiUSA are closing. I can't help but ponder the mysterious ways of God as millions have been raised to open a school while the lack of thousands closes a ministry. And yet, there is comfort in the knowledge that many seeds planted are bearing fruit in abundance. So for me, not being a cigar smoker, today is a "two-votive-candle day" -- one for the doors that are opening and one for the doors that are closing.
May Mary Queen of Heaven and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati guide and guard all of the students of Frassati Catholic High School today and always. Verso l'alto!