Blessed Sacrament Families,

Most of us here have heard the saying, “They say God will never give you more than you can handle.”   Throughout the semester, however, it has felt like God has way too much confidence in me this semester.

After prayer and reflection, however, my personal prayer journey and my reflections on my professional responsibilities shifted my mindset.  I began shifting the saying to, “God doesn’t give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given.”

I am reminded of this as I arrive and leave campus each day looking at the challenges and obstacles of the Migrant Resource Center just down the street.

I won’t stand here and pretend there haven’t been times when the words brewing in my heart are words of anger and frustration.  Thoughts like, “Why can’t they just find another place to sleep?” or “Why won’t the city move them to another area of town?”

It was these thoughts of anger and frustration one morning that were driving my reactions and then out of nowhere, I saw a handful of kids waking up from their make-shift tent of cardboard and overly used blanket. My prayer that evening was one of seeking forgiveness.  Had my heart turned to stone?  Was I now a goat looking over at the sheep?  Had Father Chris’ words of love, kindness, and respect become silent in me?

No matter how much I tried, that image could not vanish from my mind since then.   As you know from my emails, I find myself in this delicate balance of keeping our students safe and making God known, loved, and served by our students.  Both of these tasks are extremely important and crucial.

We have just concluded a reenactment about a child born in a humble manger.  Tonight begins the final days of preparation here at Blessed Sacrament to celebrate Christmas.  But it is important that as Christians, we remember that the real work of Christmas is yet to come.  In the words of Howard Thurman, an African American theological, educator, and civil rights leader,

“When the song of the angels is stilled,

when the star in the sky is gone,

when the king and princes are home,

when the shepherds are back with their flocks,

the work of Christmas begins:

to find the lost,

to heal the broken,

to feed the hungry,

to release the prisoner,

to rebuild the nations,

to bring peace among the people,

to make must in the heart.”


It is with this in mind, that I would like to create a new Steering Committee at Blessed Sacrament called, “Building Bethlehem at Blessed.”

This committee made up of parents, guardians, and family members, will work to make recommendations to Father Chris and me on how we can maintain the safety of our students while using this as a teaching moment for our students.  How can we ensure that our students are safe through increased security measures while finding ways to pray for those migrants.  How can invoke the father figure of St. Joseph who protected the Christ Child, but also invoke the name of our Blessed Mother who brings all, including migrants, to Christ?  How can we work to be an example for our community in keeping our students safe, while helping our students develop the emotion of empathy?  In essence, how can a small community like Blessed Sacrament become Bethlehem for our local community?

Mr. Tim Bruton, one of our kindergarten parents and a good friend told me a few days ago, “Michael, you cannot control what happens outside the fences of the school.  But within the fences,  you can veto and stop anything you want.”

This is not an easy order.  I am human and know that sometimes human emotions, political affiliations, personal experiences, and our own anxieties can become roadblocks to finding solutions.  But I know that Blessed Sacrament is not like other communities.  There are people doubting us because we are just a tiny little school in the middle of San Antonio.  Well guess what?  They said the same thing about Bethlehem and the Savior of our World came from that tiny town.

Now I am not saying that we are becoming Messiahs.  But I am convinced that we have the potential, and more importantly, the responsibility, to be the hands, feet, ears, eyes, mouths, and legs of Christ on earth.  Imagine what our students will think about when they are raising their own kids.  They will talk about how they went to a school where people put aside their differences to keep them safe and grow closer to Christ.

So if you are thinking about what Christmas Gift you can give Christ this season, consider giving the gift of time to serve on this important committee to Build Bethlehem at Blessed.  More information will be in Spike’s News.

Thank you for being on this journey with me.  I hope that my students see that even leaders need to stop and ask for help when needed. Thank you for being here tonight.  Thank you for being part of this amazing community.  You will never know how grateful I am for you. May the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph be with you this holiday season.  May you have a very holy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Michael Fierro