Covid’s Silver Lining
It was June 1, 2021 when I visited Resurrection Catholic School for the very first time. I had only heard of Resurrection Catholic School just the week before when I received an email promoting their fundraiser “Sips for Scholarships”. It was an “ordinary” email and by that, I mean it was one of 100s I had received that week. Nothing too fancy but straight to the point. It’s surprising that I had never heard of RCS before after spending so much time in KCK serving on the board of El Centro for 9 years. Regardless, I read the email, found out what the cause was – raise money for the Catholic school in KCK. For what it’s worth, I do my part in supporting philanthropic endeavors covering a variety of causes. I normally click a link, check a box, fill out the form and click “Submit”. Done.
But with this email I did something different. I didn’t click on any link to donate, rather I picked up the phone to find out more about Resurrection Catholic School. I wanted to learn more. I don’t know why I called because there wasn’t any amazing CTA (call to action) or plea, but I do remember clicking on some videos within the email that really told the story of Resurrection Catholic School. No fancy polished videos; just some real stuff with kids and teachers and Jesus. Like I stated, it was an ordinary email asking for support. Why did I pick up my phone and call? Maybe I was hungry to hear a voice (remember, this is during the Covid period – lock downs, masks, social distancing, working remote, Zoom meetings, limited events, attending mass via YouTube, basically limited engagement. Ugh!) I hated all of this. I am a creature who likes engagement, talking face to face, seeing people, getting together, hugs and handshakes, fellowship, community, etc. I was tired of the digital engagement. I wanted more.
And more I got via my phone conversation. I had the pleasure of speaking with a wonderful, soft voice who spent the next 30 minutes telling me about Resurrection Catholic School. Where they were located. How many kids were enrolled. What their focus was. How they managed the GREAT LOCK DOWN. They didn’t lock down. They kept the doors open. That’s what I loved hearing. The kids still came to school, albeit with masks on and following the rules handed down by the “authorities”. I was intrigued. I was excited. I was motivated to learn more. I wanted to see the school and see who was doing what with our most precious resources – grade school kids. And I will admit, I was really motivated when I learned that more than 80% of the students were Latinos whose parents’ primary language was Spanish. So, this was rather easy for me to visit and find out more. It was the trifecta for me – Catholic focus. Elementary education. Latino community. My onsite visit was amazing. The principle. The development director. The school itself. And the religious statues and messages throughout the school. The neighborhood. It felt right. I was being fed with an opportunity to be a part of something beyond writing a check for scholarships. I felt I was being called to share not only my treasure but my time and talent.
It's been almost 2 ½ years since I visited Resurrection Catholic School and it’s been a real joy yet not without its struggles. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting new people devoted to their Catholic faith and the RCS community. The opportunity to work with a board who really is committed to serving the kids, teachers, and families. They’ve truly exemplified what Jesus asked us to do and that is to serve others. Without a doubt, they are doing that and more. We come from all walks of life and parts of Kansas City with an openness to serve. When I was asked to serve as Board Chair for this year, I seriously had reservations because I’m not from KCK; I live in KCMO in a much different neighborhood community and different parish. I just wanted to help out, use my Spanish language and cultural knowledge to work with the kids and families. That’s what I wanted to share. My intent was not to lead but to support. But, I believe God had other plans. And I remember something I learned during my “Christ Renews His Parish” retreat and that is – God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called. So be it. I’ve served as the Board Chair since May of 2023 and it’s been wonderful – both the challenges and the little victories. Just working in the education arena itself presents its own challenges. I have the utmost respect for our RCS staff, principal and priests who educate and lead our future leaders. I and the school board at Resurrection Catholic School welcome the challenges and struggles that manifest themselves throughout the year. It’s part of enjoying the fruits of the labor and giving thanks for the great things that God does with us and for us, his servants. If there’s anything I can be thankful for from Covid I would say it led me to Resurrection Catholic School.
Thank you Jesus.
Norberto Ayala Flores
Chair Of The Board Of Trustees