On Friday, June 16th, we gathered to celebrate your retirement after an incredible 38 years of dedicated service to Mater Christi School; it is with profound admiration and heartfelt gratitude that we reflect upon your remarkable journey. You have been the pillar of our community, the guiding light that has touched the lives of countless individuals.
In medieval times, castles, monasteries, and universities had porters stationed at their main entrances. These gatekeepers held a crucial role in Catholic institutions, receiving visitors, delivering messages, running errands, and providing support to the needy. Above all, they consoled those who were troubled and lonely, serving as a beacon of hope.
One particular saint, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, exemplified the essence of this role. Despite enduring personal tragedies and setbacks, he found solace within the Jesuit community and devoted himself to a life of service and prayer. As a porter at Our Lady of Mount Zion College, he spent 46 years in a position that could have been seen as monotonous or repetitive. Yet, Brother Alphonsus greeted everyone who knocked on the door as if they were the Lord Himself, radiating a warm smile that mirrored his love for God. Students and faculty sought him out for guidance, encouragement, and prayers, and in their hearts, he became the most significant figure at the College. Through his acts of kindness and unwavering faith, Brother Alphonsus touched the lives of many, leaving a legacy of holiness and goodness. His devotion and spiritual writings later led to his canonization as a saint in 1888.
Mrs. Rock, you have embodied the essence of the porter at Mater Christi for 38 years, turning your work into a true vocation. Every interaction with you, whether in person or over the phone, has been marked by your exceptional hospitality. You treat each individual with the utmost respect, mirroring the way you would treat the Lord Himself. Your smile and uplifting sense of humor have been a source of joy for us all. We have sought you out in various ways, drawn to your warmth, wisdom, advice, consolation, and prayers. Through your work, you have beautifully revealed the boundless love and mercy of God to each and every one of us.
In the Constitutions of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, there are three challenges inherent in a life of mercy: reverencing the dignity of each person, creating a spirit of hospitality, and pursuing integrity of word and deed. Mrs. Rock, you have wholeheartedly embraced these challenges, becoming an embodiment of mercy in action. For generations of students, families, colleagues, neighbors, and friends of the school, you have, in the spirit of Catherine McAuley, been the face of Mercy at Mater Christi School. Our words will never be enough to express the depth of our gratitude for all that you have done and for the genuine friendship you have extended to us.
Jean, as we bid you farewell on this momentous occasion, please know that our gratitude for your selfless service and unwavering dedication goes beyond words. You have touched our lives in immeasurable ways, and your impact will be felt for generations to come. May your retirement be filled with abundant blessings, joy, and fulfillment.
With heartfelt appreciation,
Mr. Jason Moore
Assistant Head of School