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Linda Oppelt

Deacon Rob Rysavy to step down as SMHS president at end of school year

By Christine Baldwin

COLORADO SPRINGS. “Priorities are just a list until they’re tested” — this is the advice often given by Deacon Rob Rysavy while serving in leadership roles in the military, non-profit, and education arenas. It is also the counsel he is now following for himself with his decision to step down from the position of St. Mary High School’s president in the summer of 2023.

“As I reflected on all the ‘hats’ I’m privileged to wear, I realized that my own priorities were being tested,” said Rysavy. “I’m not sure I ever felt the kind of peace and fulfillment that I’ve experienced while exercising the ministry of permanent deacon, and I feel called to invest more of my life in that priority. And quite frankly, I also pondered quite a bit how little time I’ve given to my family over the last 30 plus years.”

After much prayer and discussion with his family, board chairman John Stinar and Bishop James Golka, Rysavy informed the school’s board of directors of his decision to step down next year during the board’s annual  retreat in October. A video message sharing the news with the broader Pirate community went out a few days later.
Deacon Rysavy said the decision was not easy.

 “We are committed to St. Mary’s. Of our six children, four are St. Mary’s grads; one is in the school now; and our sixth will be in the class of 2030. I’ve also had the privilege of serving the school as a coach and a board member in the years before I was the president. It’s the best job in the city, and serving as a deacon and being more present to my family are the only callings that could ever pull me away from this amazing place.”

Although leadership changes can be stressful, the next president will inherit an exceptional principal, faculty, and staff, Deacon Rysavy said. 
“Working with Principal Robyn Cross will remain a high point of my time at St. Mary’s. It has also been a blessing to work with the accomplished and joyful faculty team she assembled,” he said. 
Stinar said that he was confident of a smooth transition.

“Deacon Rob regularly reminds us that the school is bigger than any one person. We’re going to miss him, but he was the first one to push us to start the search for the next president now.”
In light of the need to have the new president in place next summer, the board immediately chartered a search committee. Board treasurer, alumni parent, business owner, and long-time Pirate family member Ed Wilcox will lead the committee.

“We’re well-positioned to attract high-quality leaders to a great school with 137 years of tradition. We also have excellent outside advice from experienced Catholic leadership consultants to help us conduct a thorough search,” said Wilcox.
“Catholic education changed the trajectory of my life, and I’m incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to serve this school and Catholic education,” Deacon Rysavy said. “That said, we have plenty of work to do and we’ll save the ‘goodbyes’ for next summer. Let’s get back to work!”
(Christine Baldwin is Vice Chair of the St. Mary’s High School Board of Directors)
 

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HERALD HEADLINES

New Paradigm - Give thanks for Dobbs ruling but keep working for culture of life, speakers say

By Veronica Ambuul

Linda Oppelt 0 100 Article rating: 5.0

COLORADO SPRINGS. At the first Bishop’s Respect Life Dinner to take place following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last June, local pro-life leaders explained how the ruling is impacting Colorado and challenged local Catholics to change the way they think and speak about abortion.

BLESSINGS IN BLOOM: Pumpkins

By Kerry Peetz

Linda Oppelt 0 63 Article rating: No rating

It’s pumpkin season! Those wonderful, plump, orange balls of fall can be seen almost everywhere we look this time of year. They are relatively easy to grow in our diocese and are fun to watch in the garden.

Revive Alive - The Eucharistic Revival in the Diocese of Colorado Springs

Linda Oppelt 0 91 Article rating: No rating

eucharistic revival 2022-2025Welcome to the second installation of Revive Alive, a series of teaching and reflection on the Eucharistic Revival in the Diocese of Colorado Springs. In addition to the monthly feature on Reclaiming Sunday as the Lord’s Day, these reflections are intended to offer some thoughts on the gift of the Eucharist and how we can embrace this life-giving gift as disciples of Jesus Christ. God wants to renew us and his Church through the Eucharist. Hopefully these will be of some help!

Resuming the Distribution of Communion Under Both Species

By Bishop James R. Golka

Linda Oppelt 0 301 Article rating: 5.0

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the chalice, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. — 1 Cor 11:26

The gift of the Eucharist and the celebration of the sacrificial banquet always include the offering of bread and wine. It has always been essential to the celebration of the Sacrament that the priest offering the Mass receives both the Sacred Body and Precious Blood. The practice of the early Church was to offer the laity communion under both kinds as well. This practice eventually fell out of use for numerous reasons by the 12th century (“Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds,” 17-18).

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Fr. Larry Brennan's Homily at Bishop Sheridan's funeral

Linda Oppelt 0 66 Article rating: No rating

I am Father Larry Brennan, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and a longtime friend of the late Bishop Michael Sheridan. Over the last 12 years, I had the privilege of working with him in a variety of capacities, coming to know many of you who are here this afternoon. Today I have the sad honor of preaching at his funeral.

We human beings have a variety of reactions in the face of the mystery of death. No one of them is the correct one. No one of them is normative. I know that they are all present here today. For many people, the first reaction is numbness or shock.

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