By Dr. Dorothy Ostrowski, Gross Catholic High School President
The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises towards ever wider horizons. – Pope John Paul II
As I walk the hallways at Gross Catholic each day you might assume that I’m looking for trouble – a shirt untucked, a skirt too short or kids meandering to their classrooms well after the bell has rung. Well, yes, sometimes I am doing that, but more often than not, I’m looking for inspiration, and I can honestly tell you that I don’t have to look far.
What I see every day are students who are doing their best. I watch them in the library diligently researching the topic of a paper, or in study hall, focused on helping a classmate solve a math problem. I see students who are motivated to dig deeper into what it means to be a Catholic, demonstrating a steadfast faith and love for God even when it’s easier to do what is convenient or considered cool. I see young men and women who dedicate hours and hours of practice before and after school or throughout the summer, so that they can become better athletes and represent their school, Gross Catholic, to the best of their ability. I see drive everywhere I look.
Yet, I don’t see drive for the sake of their own glory. I see these beautiful children focused on achievement because they want to honor God, their parents and those who care about them by giving it everything they have for the betterment of their family, their school, and their community. It is hard work and the righteous path isn’t always apparent. The allure to take the easy route or to cut corners is always there. The virtuous path is not easy – Jesus never promised us that it would be. Sometimes just showing up is the best that we can offer, as Martin Luther King, Jr. so perfectly sums up: If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
Pope John Paul II offers this: “It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”
That focus could not be more apparent at Gross Catholic where we cultivate leaders in excellence who are academically driven. We value working toward a greater good, educating for life and developing students who are agents of change. If we stay focused and driven on this quest for excellence and if we do our best to serve the Lord in every aspect of our lives, then our drive will be for the glory of God, not our own. With that desire at the forefront of all we do, we cannot fail.