Cleveland Bishop Nelson Perez visted Padua Franciscan High School on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, which was on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. He celebrated Mass with 800 students, in addition to faculty, staff, board members, parents, alumni, and grandparents in the Gymnasium.
During his homily, Bishop Perez reflected on the life of St. Francis. The bishop said Francis came from a family of means and he struggled with what his father thought he should be doing with his life. Though prayer, Francis realized that God was calling him to rebuild his church. His message of peace and simplicity ultimately spread throughout the world.
“Here’s a spiritual message to all of you today. You and I could do the very same thing. The world is a tough place, but God wants us to have an openness of heart,” Bishop Perez said. “I want you to remember this, never, never, never underestimate the power of the Spirit of God working in you, with you and despite you.”
Following Mass, Bishop Perez was present for the first annual Day of Giving, Bruins Big Give, which was a community-wide effort to help keep tuition more affordable for all families. He was very moved by our students who gave their own money to help keep tuition affordable for all families. “What a wonderful way to share the gift you receive…You will really appreciate the gift you have of receiving a Catholic education later on in life,” he said.
Bishop Perez also received a tour of the school and had lunch with student leaders on campus. Students presented the bishop with a Padua Prayer Blanket, some Padua gear, and a book about St. Francis.