St. Joseph the Worker

May 1st is a day the church celebrates St. Joseph the Worker. Fr. Anthony lead a prayer service after school. He used a shortened version of evening vespers, and the left side/right side response pattern worked much better than I anticipated with our students. Their responses were loud and clear.

At the assembly, we presented the Leo John Dehon Circle of Courage Award for this school year. Staff nominate students each quarter for their efforts at Generosity, Independence, Mastery and Belonging. For the first time, we had a tie in the number of nominations, so we awarded both Alyssa (4th grade) and Malaina (6th) the honors. Besides getting their name inscribed on the plaque, they will have a special lunch at a restaurant downtown with Kathleen, our principal. Then, they get to choose a staff member whose job interests them and job shadow them for a day.

Melissa in HR had one of those milestone birthdays today, so her co-workers found an excuse to get her over to central offices where about 20 of us waited with hairbrushes in hand to lip sync “You say it’s your birthday…” She laughed mightily and then ice cream cake was shared by all.

Letters and donations to our development office slow down a bit as summer approaches, but spring is very busy, so we had our spring appreciation lunch to thank our folks for all their dedicated work. Summer is busy in different ways, as it allows us to clean up files, organize and update mailing lists. We’re switching over to a new software system soon, and lots of people are heavily into their training.

Houseparent Tia hails from Louisiana, and invited me to a special supper at the Carola Home (high school boys) to celebrate Louisiana’s bicentennial of statehood. She cooked a bevy of regional Cajun delicacies that our boys and their never-ending appetites scarfed down.

On a wonderful spring night, as I walked home I saw the fourth and fifth grades playing softball. I stopped and pitched a couple of innings. I’m pretty good at lobbing the ball right over the plate so they can get a good swing at it.

Generosity – Wacantognaka

This weekend is our Rite of Acceptance for the 20 students who are part of our RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children) program. One of the gestures is a seven fold blessing of the different senses – eyes, ears, lips, shoulders, heart, hands and feet. During practice, I asked the students what they thought each of those gestures meant.

I asked, “Why would we ever bless someone’s feet?”

One girl chimed in, “So we can walk toward Jesus.”

A second added, “And run away from evil!”

We definitely have a couple of good young theologians that I am constantly learning from.

The William Home (4th – 5th grade girls) has a tradition of a Christmas open house every December. Mike always makes his meatballs, and Jessica her peanut butter and chocolate Buckeyes. The rest of the menu is up to the talents of the girls in the home, and they came up with tasty finger foods and baked goods. From the moment you walk in the door, they offer to take you coat, get you some punch or hot apple cider and show lots of hospitality. I enjoyed looking over the photo album they’ve put together of their activities for the year up to this point. As I looked back on some older photo albums from the home, I got a real sense of the passage of time. After seven years here, the girls who were 5th graders when I first arrived, have now graduated and gone off to college.

Our student leadership committee did a great job hosting their food/clothing drive!
Our student leadership committee did a great job hosting their food/clothing drive!

Our student leadership committee held a food and clothing drive these past few weeks, mindful of families in town and on the Indian reservations that really need that kind of help right now. Generosity is one of those cardinal virtues we try to instill in all our students.