April 6, 2017
In my foundational years, I was taught to live my Faith, support good causes, be true to myself and God, among many other important attributes that would help me to create a good holy life for myself and family. The driving force behind my foundational years was my mother, Helen Sage, who loves to plan and has been blessed with a good eye for décor and a gift for decorating. This gift landed her a place on the planning committee of the annual Bishop’s Gala. So, of course, every year she would encourage my husband and me to attend and I would hear all about the arrangements from the table—to the color scheme—to the food being served. Unable to attend previous years due to conflict with state academic competition, I would always inquire, when I got back, as to how it went. I knew the Gala was an important event but I never fully understood the purpose of it until this year’s Gala. I knew the monies supported Bishop Patrick J. Zurek, but I did not understand that each year, Bishop Zurek would name causes and organizations that would benefit from the Gala that particular year. When Holy Cross Catholic Academy was named as being the next benefactor, my mother immediately called me to inform me of the news. While being Head of School was nowhere on my radar at that time, I was invested in HCCA because my oldest attended the secondary school.
Little did I know that about a month after HCCA was named as the Gala benefactor, that I would be named as Head of School. When God calls, you can fight it, question it, throw a bit of a fit, but in the end, He prevails. HCCA has turned out to be such a blessing and gives so much to our Catholic community. When I first began my new job, I felt like an alien had overtaken my brain. I was so used to how things operated from my previous administrative position, and the secondary level is VERY different. I also had added weight with the financial standing of the school. The school owed a large debt that we were paying on, and with dropping enrollment it was nerve wracking as to how we would ever get it paid. As I began praying for financial stability and working on areas I could strengthen, I started off on the task God called me to do—leading Holy Cross Catholic Academy. While it has been an uphill battle, I have been able to surrender myself more and more each day, and allow Him to work through me. I have had to believe and trust that He has brought me to do His work on earth and I am an instrument for Him to work through. The more I have surrendered, the more HCCA has been blessed.
At the close of Catholic Schools Week, I received a phone call from Bishop Zurek’s office with the wonderful news of having received the two grants that we had requested. One grant was for technology upgrades to our current server and hardware. With the changing technology demands, our current equipment has not been able to keep up and host all of our devices. This grant was roughly $56,000. The other grant was for $30,000 to help market the school to grow enrollment. I was in awe, and my heart was soaring, but I was told there was more good news. I was completely unprepared for what was about to follow; I was informed that the large debt owed had been taken care of. I was in shock and lacked any words. In fact, they had to verify I was still on the phone. I could have run a marathon at that moment. All I could think was, ‘God is good!’ I am well aware that none of this would have been possible without Bishop Zurek’s support and approval. Just as God is using me as an instrument to lead Holy Cross Catholic Academy, Bishop Zurek has been chosen to lead the Diocese of Amarillo. Through him, God is at work and while it is Bishop Zurek who names the organization to receive the benefits of the Gala, it is decided with the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has directed so much love and support towards Holy Cross this year; knowing that our students are our future, HCCA is creating Disciples of Christ; Disciples that will lead our church, our future and our children’s children. The foundation that I received at an early age begins now. It begins in our home, our Catholic elementary schools and is nourished and polished at Holy Cross Catholic Academy.
I was asked to write an article as to the importance of the Bishop’s Gala and why one should support it. I think the better question is: why would one not? The Gala supports important organizations and their mission for a better world. We should all want a better world, and sometimes we get caught up in looking for something to complain about instead of pitching-in and doing what we can to make things better. We will never agree with any one person or thing 100% of the time, but we can always choose to do what we can to make the situation better. I am proud to say that I will be in attendance this year at the Bishop’s Gala and plan to be every year. Yes, it still interferes with state competitions, but I have been blessed with friends that are willing to oversee the competition so I can attend. Before I understood where the proceeds go for the Gala, it was not a priority. Now that I understand, when my mother calls me to talk about the Gala, I can tell her I can’t wait to witness it in person. I am grateful she sets a great example for me and my family; to support the important things God calls us to do. We are His hands and feet on Earth. It is through these organizations chosen that His work can be most prevalent. I hope to see many of you supporting Bishop Zurek and his efforts to make our community the best it can be. I know Holy Cross Catholic Academy is grateful for the support from Bishop Zurek and the monies received will help to support our mission; Holy Cross Catholic Academy is committed to educating the whole person in the Catholic tradition, empowering students to become disciples of Christ, lifelong learners and responsible citizens with a strong moral foundation, a respect for diversity and a dedication to service. By living this mission statement, HCCA establishes a great foundation for our youth and I am proud to be a part of the HCCA family.
Angi Seidenberger is Head of School at Holy Cross Catholic Academy, Amarillo.