June 10, 2019
Sharing the Word through the sister model: Alexis Flinn
Alexis is a third-grade teacher at Incarnate Word Academy in Parma Heights, Ohio. She is a participant in Generative Spirit’s Ministry Leadership Program. We invited Alexis to reflect on her experience in the program so far.
Early in January of 2019, the Head of School at Incarnate Word Academy approached me about applying for the Ministry Leadership Program. I was hesitant, but intrigued. After reading more about the program, I became more excited about the opportunity and decided to apply. I entered my first meeting unsure of what to expect yet optimistic about the experiences that were ahead of me. I was thrilled to find that this program was one that would allow me to interact with young teachers and professionals like myself while growing closer to the sisters that sponsor Incarnate Word Academy.
The other young adults that I have the privilege of working and conversing with during our monthly meetings radiate a positive light and push others to be the best version of themselves. We have had many good conversations in the four meetings so far. One of my favorites centered on what it means to be a Catholic school in today’s world.
This conversation led me to reflect on the fact that a large percentage of students in Catholic schools are not Catholic. So what does this means for us? To me, it isn’t much more than a statistic. I view this as a huge opportunity to teach the Word of God to those who may otherwise never be exposed.
It is our duty as Catholic school teachers to not only teach, but also display tolerance, respect, compassion and love to every student, no matter their religion. If we are successfully fulfilling our roles, then we are teaching the Catholic faith solely by example. It is my hope that my example is a part of my students’ draw to the Catholic faith.
I have been able to share these thoughts with my sister companion, Sister Rosemarie Burke, through the Ministry Leadership Program. Sister Rosemarie is part of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word. Through our conversations, as well as those with other members of the congregation, I have gained an endless amount of respect for the order.
I know that as a teacher at Incarnate Word Academy, it is my responsibility to continue the mission of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word into the next generation. The Ministry Leadership Program is giving me all of the tools to be successful in this task.