Saturday, August 20, 2016
Typically, we speak about this time of year as “Back to School” season. In the case of St. Mary School, at least, I would like to think of this particular year as “Step boldly into the New School Year!” On a literal level, a new welcome mat has been laid down in the school lobby. It is boldly imprinted with the insignia of St. Mary School, which includes the motto: Growing in Character, Faith and Knowledge. While this ideal is set out for the students who attend St. Mary, literally every person whose feet cross that mat— and it is a very large mat, so it is virtually impossible to step around it— is challenged to the same principles of virtue.
Beyond floor mats, however, it is our sincere hope and expectation that with a substantially reconfigured staff on board, everyone’s experience is going to be lifted to a new level. For me, the dynamic is somewhat akin to the Olympic games. On the one hand, we look back fondly on past Olympiads, and on the athletes and other participants who have made them memorable. Yet, the emphasis isn’t so much on past performances. Even returning participants are there to post a higher level of performance.
In that spirit, we are grateful to all who have been a part of the school in the past. Equally, we move forward as a body of people passionately committed to forming young minds, hearts and bodies for Christ! Of course, it is the grace of God that makes it all possible. Among many to thank, I here extend an accolade to our maintenance staff, who have been diligent in their efforts throughout the summer; they literally have the floors glowing.
One schedule change related to school that directly impacts the rhythm of the whole parish community: in years past, the “school Mass” has been celebrated on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. Beginning with the first Wednesday of September, Mass with the school children— and the one morning Mass for everybody in the parish on Wednesday— will be celebrated on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. This shift of one-half hour is necessitated to give the school faculty and students the time to report to school and make their way over to church. We believe that this will increase the contact level between parishioners and school students, which echoes one of the streams of comments made on the most recent parish survey. We understand that this will push back the start time of Senior Brunch on first Wednesdays, and we hope that participation in that important social event will not be adversely affected.
We are less than one week from the Parish Picnic. This is to remind us that it is next Saturday, August 27, beginning with 5 p.m. Mass and held in the activity center (gym) and the parking lot of church. First Presbyterian Church is kindly offering us auxiliary parking. Even in the event of rain, we will be able to hold the event inside. There will be activities for children and plenty of food, including chicken (provide by the Knights of Columbus) and soft-serve ice cream. It is sincerely hoped that everyone received a postcard invitation in the mail. Come out and renew established friendships while building new bonds of fellowship!