Good-bye St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School – Austin, Texas

This was the good-bye letter that I wrote to the St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School Community one month ago. I added some pics to this post for aesthetic purposes.

Dear Savio Community,

As many of you know by this time, I resigned from St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School effective at the end of my contract. This was a difficult decision and one that I went back and forth on nearly every week since January. In the end, I know that being back in Phoenix with my family and friends is the best decision for my life at this time. With the birth of my first niece in December, and now Goddaughter in April, the decision was even easier. My sister and brother-in-law really want me back there to be a part of her life growing up. With my parents getting older, it was also a desire of mine to return home after four years of being away.

The hardest part of leaving Savio is not having the students that I have had the privilege to teach for the past two years. The excitement and frustrations of being in the high school classroom will be missed. I wish I had the time to say something about each of my students over the past two years, but then this short letter would not be very short. What I have found at Savio among the students is a real love for the Catholic faith and the desire to defend it. The Pro-Life Club is a real witness to the beauty of the human person. The few students that are considering calls to the priesthood and religious life is a defining characteristic of what the Holy Spirit is doing at Savio. It was a blessing and a cross to be at Savio for two years, but that’s what our Catholic faith is all about – sacramental grace, blessings, and carrying a big wooden cross.

For the students I would say – if you follow the words of St. Paul nothing will ever come between you and your faith – “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity…Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:11-12; 15)

For the parents I suggest the words of Blessed John Paul II from his Post-Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, “Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devotes on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among the children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs.”

Thank you for welcoming me into your community. I will miss you.

In the Peace of Christ,

Tom Perna

**Note: Please pray for me since I have accepted a position with the University of Mary at their Tempe Campus in collaboration with Arizona State University (as of July 10, 2012). I will be an adjunct professor teaching Introduction to Theology to Non-Traditional Students once a week at night.**

4 thoughts on “Good-bye St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School – Austin, Texas

  1. You are going to be greatly missed in Austin, Tom. You were a real blessing to our Catholic community. We will be praying for the Lord to continue growing His Kingdom through your rich talents.

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