The KCHS student body and teachers filled All Saints Church for the Mass. Concelebrating were Father Tony Budnick and school chaplain Father Christopher Manning. Also present were Sister Mary Marta Abbott, RSM, superintendent of Catholic Schools, and Dickie Sompayrac, KCHS president.
Bishop Stika addressed homily remarks to each grade level, starting with the oldest.
“Now that you’re seniors, have you discovered more about who you are and what you can accomplish and what you can do, things you might have been afraid of at some point?” he asked “I used to be terrified of the concept of public speaking, and now you can’t shut me up, you know?”
The bishop said “there’s an awful lot of people in the world who don’t discover themselves so much in high school, but maybe they do it in college, or maybe they do it after college. In college, I could not have imagined standing before a bunch of teenagers talking about Jesus.”
Bishop Stika urged the students to keep an eye out for someone who may be struggling in life.
“My challenge to all of you is if you know somebody who’s kind of having a difficult time . . . If you see somebody who maybe hasn’t discovered themselves like you have, reach out to them and include them.”
The bishop also told the youth to “include God in all your conversations because he’s pretty wise. He created you.”
Teachers in a Catholic school are there for a reason, when they could be working at higher-paying public schools, Bishop Stika said.
“First of all, they have a love for faith and Jesus,” he said. “And they have love for you because probably in their life there was a teacher who instilled in them the beauty of what it means to instruct another person about life and love.”
Finally, the bishop encouraged students to have a regular prayer life and not just pray “when you need to pass a test.”
“Jesus misses you if you don’t have that relationship, a profound ‘missing’—Jesus misses you,” Bishop Stika said.
The bishop will appear again at KCHS on Sept. 2 to bless classrooms and meet with students.