Sixth graders are on fire. They have made hundreds of cord rosaries and it appears we are still early in the process. Eighth grade Giana Girls are also engaging in the process. Even some fourth graders have gotten involved. Sister Mary Guadalupe is the main instigator, and she is willing to teach a new Rosary Devotee how to tie a knot any chance she gets.
This week a small group of sixth graders came to me with a charitable request. One of our kindergartners has recently been diagnosed with leukemia. The girls, some of whom have very close associations with leukemia in their own families, wanted to help that kindergartner and her family. They’d like to market their rosaries for her. I love how their hearts that are making the connection that we could do this to help another. The boys will be helping, too, but this core group has a good dose of the feminine genius that we will fan into flame. They have the green light from me to proceed with their plan. They have a strategy for posters as well as a time and place to engage not only the school community, but also our parish and a couple other parishes. Some have also begun to reach out to their family members. The leadership ability of these young people is growing, as is their charity to those in need.
We have been communicating with the cord manufacturers to see if they, too, would like to contribute to our cause. I’m wondering who they think is on the other end of the communique. Sisters in their 80s are a grace for the Church (someday I hope to be one), but that is not the “Rosary Makers” of today, here at our school!
Just yesterday a few eighth graders proposed a project to promote solidarity and prayer for the same intention…more on that next week. In the meantime, join us in prayer for that little one and her family. Many of our children have “tied one on” literally. May they tie Rosary knots for charity and the good of the Mystical Body with regularity throughout their lives.
It is a joy for me to be returning to St. Peter School this year! Having been at several schools in my Religious Life, can I tell you want makes our school unique, “It’s like coming home.” Here are my top three:
- The family atmosphere of the teachers and staff struck me immediately as I returned to the opening meetings. I remember well from my previous years here, the beautiful rapport and the caring for one another. I saw it again displayed at our open faculty meeting as we shared about summer experiences and prayer intentions came up. There was a genuine concern and reaching out to those in need.
- A second highlight of our school is the beautiful respect shown by the students and reinforced by the teachers. When walking down the hall, a class will stop to let you pass. Children hold doors for one another and for adults. The junior high has students who hold the church doors for everyone and another student who has a hymnal ready to hand Father as he walks up the aisle to begin Mass. Older boys being gentlemen letting girls precede them in the Communion line. Such signs of respect and other-centeredness are skills/virtues that do not come naturally – especially in our culture! The teachers and staff work together to promote this atmosphere and to instill this reverence for others in a way that is exceptional.
- Leadership is instilled in the children. I’ve had two opportunities to meet with new volunteers to the school. But instead of me giving a tour, there are trained “tour guides” in each of the classrooms who can be called upon to show the adult the parts of our school and answer questions. It is beautiful to see such initiative! Again, this reflects highly of the leadership of the administration, teachers and staff who have taken time to prepare the children for this role so that they can grow in confidence and initiative.
Such a family atmosphere in St. Peter School reflects the beauty of family life and, ultimately, the beauty of the life we will have someday with the Blessed Trinity. Your children are learning self-discipline, respect and reverence for those around them, and feel a sense of belonging. Someday, they will be embraced by God’s love for all eternity and be in a relationship of love with all the saints. It’s a gift to be a part of such an environment and I look forward to the abundance of graces the Lord has in store for all of us this year.
Finally, I look forward to meeting you for the first time, or again if I have taught your children in the past. Please forgive me for being slow with names, however, as there are a lot more of your names to remember than there is of mine! Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your children at St. Peter’s!
God bless you!
Sister Mary Angela