Friday, September 3
Chamberlain High School opened up their football season tonight. Three of our St. Joseph students are on the football team, and two of our students are cheerleaders for the Cubs, so I was in the stands to cheer them all on. Our staff has sons on the team as well, so I worked the bleachers and talked to lots of folks. Even as a parish priest I found out a lot more about what’s going on in people lives on the sidelines than I ever did at church.
For many years Chamberlain has struggled in football, and tonight didn’t break the streak. Valentine Nebraska got ahead by a score of 38-0. The Cubs put a few good drives together, but turned the ball over several times. On the final play of the game we finally got a touchdown to avoid the shutout. 38-6 was the final score.
Our students are new to the team and saw little playing time. But I find it important to support kids even when they aren’t the stars of the team. I encourage them to work hard, and not quit. When I played basketball in High School, at one point we lost 38 games in a row. I think it built some character in me not to give up. And when that win to break the streak did come, it sure felt extra special! Go Cubs!
Saturday, September 4
The old cliché is that ignorance is bliss. On a Saturday where absolutely no one was around the office I took advantage of the quiet and went through the mail on my desk and the 200 or so emails that have accumulated over the past couple of weeks of travel. I didn’t feel much bliss as I began to realize all the work involved in handling the calls and requests right. Maybe that’s a sign of job security! It’s easier to spend time on the quickly answered notes, and since this Labor Day weekend won’t bring in many more, I made a good dent in the piles. Some ideas will take far more discussion and planning. But neither Rome, nor a good program, is built in a day, and I have to keep steadily after it.
The afternoon was dedicated to College football – especially Notre Dame’s home opener – on TV. Some donors from Indiana sent me a new ND t-shirt, and I wore my colors and was pleased with what I saw. Fr. Anthony and Brother Clay are also big sports fans, so it was nice to have a running commentary going on during the game. I spent the evening reading and with more solitary pursuits.