Rev. Fr. Emilio A. Ascaño, LRMS
Director
(SY 2014-present)

 

Welcome Peterians to your first virtual assembly. I wish I could welcome you in person, and I’m sorry that I can’t. Circumstances are different and it is a very difficult time for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a very real effect on all of us at SPAS as well as all of us in our country and around the world. Together we will make the most of it.

 

We are starting this school year with a virtual assembly followed by meetings with your Adviser, where you will learn more about how online learning will take place.

 

Our school building is closed, but SPAS is open and we are still here together as a community.

 

In 1665, Cambridge of England was closed due to the bubonic plague. While it was closed, Sir Isaac Newton developed his theories in calculus, optics and gravity. It was known as the “Year of Wonders” for Newton because he was unable to attend university and still went on to make incredible discoveries. I don’t expect anyone to come up with world-changing theories, but I know that we can make the most of our learning. There are many opportunities for growth, including practicing adaptive performance during abrupt and challenging changes, engaging in intellectual discussion (there are lot of issues to be discussed these days), and learning to keep your mental health.

 

A huge thank you to our academic leaders - there are great things in place for online learning. Thank you my dearest students in advance, for taking part in online learning and continuing to treat each other at SPAS with respect and compassion as you would in face-to-face interactions.

 

We are really looking forward to all that we can do, all the learning that can take place and keeping our community together during this very difficult time. We do have great things planned for your ongoing formation and development so stay tuned!

 

During this difficult time all will have to be compassionate and understanding. Each of us will handle things differently. There will be times you can offer help to others and times when you will need help from others. Thank you in advance for being there to help one another and asking for help when you need it. You are all strong and we will get through this.

 

I recently watched the film about Mr. Rogers starring Tom Hanks and learned a lot about how much he cared and understood people, children in particular, and how important it was for him to help. One of the things I think we can take away from Mr. Rogers is that you are going to have a lot of feelings during this pandemic and through online learning. As Mr. Rogers said, “it is important for everyone to reach out and express their feelings and understand their feelings.” One of the best parts about being a member of SPAS is that I know we are all here for one another throughout this. Let us consistently practice our SPAS core values especially this time of crisis such as the values of preferential option for the poor, Christian discipleship, responsible stewardship and love of country. Reach out to your Adviser, to your friends, to your teachers, to your parents or anyone in our community that can help. 

 

We are going to get through this. Take care. Be healthy. Be safe. Let’s embrace this online journey and make the most of it together.