Advent Star Wars

December 20, 2019

Head of School Matt Cavellier reflects on the Christmas season and upcoming new year.

Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.

Yesterday at Christmas Chapel we lit the Advent candles at the beginning of the service and explained what each of them signified: hope, peace, joy, love. These themes are overarching during the Christmas season, but by no means does Christianity have the monopoly on these ideals. As Father Maltbie reminded our students last evening—students who come from different faith backgrounds, and even some, I assume, from no faith backgrounds whatsoever—there is a lot to be accomplished if we stay focused on hope, peace, joy, and love.

At Christmas Dinner, we heard toasts from students, parents, faculty, and a past board member; there were reflections on the dreams we have for our children, the trust and comfort our faculty and staff provide our students, the happiness and pride of watching the changes that happen within our students as they work through their years here, and the tears of two toasters as they found themselves overcome with emotion at their experience in our community. Hope, peace, joy, and love.

After Christmas Dinner, I went to the late showing of the final Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. I promise there will be no spoilers—unless you are totally unaware of the major themes in all the Star Wars movies. As I was watching the film, I couldn’t help but think about how these themes—hope, peace, joy, and love—had followed me through my day, from Middle School chapel to start my morning through the last scenes of the movie late last night.

To be sure, there are always challenges that we face as we move through the world. Those “dark side” elements are always going to exist and always going to rear their head at the most inopportune times, and, unlike in the movies, we don’t have lightsabers with which to battle our individual “Evil Empires”. What we do have that is similar is the knowledge that we are not alone, that there is a force that draws us together than helps us move forward toward our goals. What we have is a community filled with individuals from all over the globe who have chosen to hold our School in their hearts and make Faribault their home—even if they are no longer residents.

What we have at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School is a family who gives us hope, wishes us peace, brings us joy, and fills us with love. That all sounds pretty great to me.

Enjoy your holidays, and we will see you in the new year.