~ “God’s love does not distinguish between the infant in the mother’s womb,
or the child, or the youth, or the adult, or the older person.
In each one God sees His image and likeness.
Human life is a manifestation of God and His glory.” ~
(Pope Benedict XVI)
October 7, which is Respect Life Sunday, marks the beginning of Respect Life month and the 40th anniversary of the Respect Life Program. One of our fundamental beliefs as Catholics is that all life is created in the image and likeness of God and that God is the creator of all life. Therefore, we are called to respect, celebrate, and protect life at all stages; from conception to natural death. As adoptive parents, Respect Life month is very special to my husband and myself. We are eternally grateful that our sons’ birthmothers chose life and gave our little family a chance to come together!
Our oldest son, Joey, is adopted from Guatemala. When we decided to pursue an international adoption about seven years ago and completed our application for a Guatemalan adoption program we requested to adopt a girl. The agency told us that it would be at least a two-year wait to be matched with a little girl. After sending our initial paperwork to the agency, my husband and I decided that it truly didn’t matter to us whether we adopted a boy or a girl. The next day I called the agency and asked them to change our application so that we would be eligible to adopt a boy or a girl. Our caseworker said, “You’re open to adopting a boy? Great! Because we have a referral for you right now!” Less than an hour later I was looking a photo of my little Joey, who was one month old and living with a foster family in Guatemala! We excitedly shared Joey’s picture with our family and friends all over the country, rejoicing in God’s goodness and an answer to years of prayers. The agency told us it would take only 6 months to finalize the adoption paperwork and then we could travel to Guatemala to meet Joey and bring him home. Unfortunately, this was not God’s plan for us or for Joey. We were one of the many adoptive families whose case became caught in the middle of the legal battles and Hague Convention reform efforts of adoption programs across the globe at that time. The 6 month mark that we had hoped and planned for came and went with little information about our precious Joey other than a few pictures. The nursery that we had prepared remained empty and we were forced to pack away all of the new 6 month clothing and toys we had waiting for him. We missed many of Joey’s first milestones and it was a heart wrenching time for us not knowing if the little boy who had now become a part of our family would ever be home with us, or if we would even have the chance to meet him. We prayed every day. Boy, did we pray! And so did our huge support system all over the country. We invoked the intercession of St. Joseph and St. Francis, for whom Joey was named. We invoked the help of my patron saint, St. Therese, who had worked many, many miracles in my life over the years. By this time I had accepted the principal position at St. John School and was trying to keep myself distracted with my new position and my graduate studies. After sharing the St. Therese novena with my teachers, they decided to start a novena that, with his first birthday already past, Joey’s adoption would be finalized. As their novena came to an end, we received a call from the adoption agency that our paperwork had been fully processed by the Guatemalan government and we would be cleared for travel in a week’s time. As it turns out, the teachers who were praying that novena for us found a beautiful single rose and were overcome with the scent of roses as they walked the grounds of St. John Church at the very moment that I was taking the call from the agency at a principal meeting! My husband and I flew down to Guatemala to meet Joey for the very first time and bring him home forever just a few days later. It was an exciting, joyful, and anxious time for all of us! Joey, who was a little over 13 months old, had never heard English before, hadn’t started eating many solid foods yet, and was very attached to his foster family. We won him over with fresh papaya, new toys, and Spanish cartoons and a strong bond started to form. By the time we hit U.S. soil Joey was eager to try everything, becoming very independent, and eating up all of the attention he was receiving. Not much has changed with our Joey, who is in first grade now, other than the fact that we can’t even remember what life was like before him or the emotional process of bringing him home.
When Joey was about three years old my husband and I decided to pursue a second adoption. After much research we met with a Catholic lawyer in Columbus to discuss domestic adoption within the United States, and the possibility of putting together a profile for prospective birthparents to review. We made a scrapbook about our family after talking with the lawyer, which included Joey’s adoption story and a letter to prospective birthparents. We were told that the process of being matched with or selected by a birthmother would be at least two years but we should expect longer. So we settled in for a long wait, trusting in God’s timing. About two weeks later she called me at school and said, “Are you sitting down? Your family has been selected by birthparents, the baby is due in less than three weeks, and they want to meet with you in two days.” The attorney was just as shocked as we were! Two days later we were meeting with a young couple and our attorneys to get to know each other and discuss the process and procedures for adopting this little unborn angel. They told us that the baby was going to be a boy, and, as it turned out, he was officially due on our anniversary, St. Patrick’s Day. (My husband’s grandfather, Patrick, had just passed away and we had prayed for his intercession in the future of our family and this adoption!) During the meeting, my husband and I took the opportunity to tell this couple that, no matter how they decided to proceed and whether or not they chose us as adoptive parents, we deeply respected their decision to give this child life. They weren’t particularly spiritual people and we were a bit hesitant to point this out but we felt like we needed to acknowledge their selflessness. They stared at us in disbelief for a moment before emotionally telling us that through all they had endured for nearly nine months not one person had recognized that they had chosen life for this little boy. They told us later that it was this conversation that solidified their decision to select us as adoptive parents. In shock, disbelief, and overwhelming joy and anxiety we scrambled to get ready for a newborn in less than three weeks. Our precious little Aidan Patrick made his debut later than expected, and my husband and I were able to be at the hospital when he was born. It was an incredibly emotional time, sharing in the joy of his arrival with his birth family and with our own family and friends while holding our breath waiting to see if the adoption would be finalized or not. Our paperwork hadn’t been cleared by the State because everything had moved so quickly and we were told that his birthmother would more than likely have to take Aidan home with her. She would also have the opportunity to end the adoption process if she chose to. We prayed fervently, with our family and friends, for God’s will to be done, unsure of what the future held for Aidan and for our family. Once again, God answered our prayers and the paperwork was cleared just in time for his hospital release. On the day little Aidan was to go home from the hospital, I held him with his birthmother and we sobbed together. I told her that anything she decided to do was her choice and I would support her in any way. Through her tears, she nodded and placed Aidan in my arms forever. Three years later, the emotion of that day is still fresh for me and I will never be able to repay Aidan’s birthmother for her sacrifice.
I am so grateful for the gift of life. I am so grateful for the brave and selfless women who choose life for their children. Let us never forget how precious life is, and do EVERYTHING in our power to defend and respect God’s gift of life.
~ “When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left,
and could say, I used everything you gave me.” ~
Here’s a mathematical equation to consider;
Genesis 1:27 – “God created man in his own image.”
Romans 12:6 – “We are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace God has given us.”
James 1:17 – “Every good and perfect gift comes from God.”
1 Corinthians 14:12 – “Since you are eager to have the gifts of the Spirit, you must try above everything else to make greater use of those which help to build up the church.”
1 Peter 4:10 – “Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.”
As the Bible tells us, we are each blessed with distinct talents and gifts from our heavenly Father; gifts that make us unique and are meant to be shared. Talents come in many shapes and sizes. They can be noticeable and used in our daily lives, or quiet and hidden in our innermost being. The term “talent” often reminds us of the parable that Jesus shared with his followers about the three servants who were entrusted with their masters “talents.” The servant who was granted five talents used them to make more, while the servant who was given two talents made another two. But the servant who was granted one talent buried it until his master returned. Although talents in Biblical times were a reference to possessions or money, there is a lesson to be learned from this teaching. From this parable, we learn that our talents, our gifts, are meant to be used not hidden or buried away. Jesus calls us to share our talents and abilities for the glory of God.
With the start of our school activities and fundraising efforts upon us, I ask each of you to consider what talents you have that you can contribute to the good of our school and our parish. As one Catholic community, let us follow the example of the first two servants in order to build the kingdom of God and further the mission of St. Mary. Let us seek ways to use our God given talents for the benefit of others, while acknowledging the unique gifts in those around us, so that when we stand before God we can say that we used everything He gave us.
~ “What children need most are the essentials
that grandparents provide in abundance.
Unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life.
And, most importantly, cookies.” ~
My last living grandparent, my precious “Nanny Bridgie” (better known to her great grandchildren as “Gran Gran”), celebrated her 91st birthday in August! My husband and I had the amazing experience of traveling to her home in Newfoundland, Canada last summer with all six of my siblings and my brother and sister-in-law for Nanny’s 90th birthday family reunion weekend. We hadn’t seen Nanny Bridgie since 2001 and I must admit that we didn’t quite know what to expect as she had experienced some very serious health issues. All I can say is that I PRAY that I have her genes! Nanny was sharp as a tack with an incredible memory and an even better sense of humor. She didn’t look a day over 60, and though she was moving around a bit slower than we remembered with the assistance of a walker (which she encouraged the “babbies” to sneak away from her and ride on), she was in excellent health and spirits. She was truly the LIFE of the party! Of all the family gatherings and incredible vacations my husband and I have been blessed to enjoy, Nanny Bridgie’s 90th birthday was without a doubt the most life changing and memorable.
Last Christmas, we enjoyed what would be our final visit with my husband’s grandmother, “Gramma,” who was the most God-fearing, gentle spirited, and loving woman that I’ve ever met. I’ll never forget her constant kindness or how she took my face in her hands on that last visit and pulled me close and just looked into my eyes, holding my gaze for a moment before patting my cheeks and calling me precious. Granpa had gone before Gramma a few years earlier and my husband’s family knew he would be anxiously waiting to welcome Gramma into heaven someday. Granpa worked the railroads out of Michigan his entire life and used to signal Gramma and his twelve children (including my mother-in-law) when he was close to home with a series of train whistles. On the day we lost Gramma he let the world know how happy he was to see her again by sounding out the loudest train whistles we’d ever heard just after she passed away. In fact, many of my husband’s family members across the country, from Michigan to Arizona, heard train whistles in that timeframe on the day Gramma was taken home to be with our Lord. It was such a beautiful testament to their love for each other!
Several years ago I said goodbye to my mom’s parents, Nanny and Grandpa, with whom I spent my entire childhood. I was extremely close with Nanny and even lived with her for some time to take care of her and keep her company after she lost Grandpa. My Grandpa led an incredibly successful and blessed life, enjoying his last days swimming laps in the ocean, and eventually falling into a sleep on the beach from which he wouldn’t awaken. What a peaceful and lovely way to be welcomed home with God. I was able to spend a lot of time with Nanny after we lost Grandpa over the next few years, and traveled back East to say my goodbyes when we knew she wasn’t going to make it much longer. Right up until her last moments Nanny would always tell her forty grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren that she loved them “a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”
All of my grandparents and my husband’s grandparents shared three things in common; an unwavering belief in God and devotion to the Catholic faith, a firm commitment to family, and a spirit of generosity. These were qualities they strove to instill in their large families, and their many grandchildren and great grandchildren, leaving an incredible legacy and tradition for future generations. I’m so proud to say that I can see this legacy continuing on into the next generation of our family when I watch my parents and my in-laws interact with my two boys. My children absolutely adore their Nanny, Poppy, Gammy, and Granpa and my husband and I are so thankful to have their examples of faith, family, and love for our children. I’m also incredibly thankful for traditions that my grandparents, great grandparents, and great great grandparents passed down through the generations in order to strengthen their families. My favorite example of this is the nighttime prayer that my dad taught me when I was very young, which I have now taught my children. That special prayer, as it turns out, was taught to my father by his grandfather growing up in Newfoundland. I know Poppy Ryan would be so proud that his prayer continues to be shared with his great great grandchildren today.
National Grandparents Day was celebrated this past Sunday. Many people don’t know that Grandparents Day was founded by a West Virginia housewife, Marian McQuade, who championed the cause of the lonely elderly in nursing homes. By establishing Grandparents Day, she hoped to not only bring attention to the aging, but to encourage grandchildren to tap into the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. As Catholics, Grandparents Day calls us to recognize the needs of the elderly in our families and in our communities. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of grandparents while becoming more aware of the needs of the elderly. Several themes of Catholic social teaching are reflected in the very purpose of celebrating Grandparents Day:
- Protecting the life and dignity of all human persons, including the aging.
- Responding to the call to family and supporting and strengthening families.
- Providing an option for the poor and vulnerable, particularly those with no one to care for them.
- Standing in solidarity as one family of God’s people.
So, to grandmothers everywhere with homemade cookies, secret recipes, and special hugs, and to grandfathers with treats always on hand and a stern but gentle manner ~ thank you! And to my Nanny Bridgie, happy belated birthday! Here’s to celebrating 100 years with another family reunion very soon ~ I love you!
~ “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ~
It’s the small things that can get us through a difficult or stressful day, that remind us of the bigger picture. That keep us focused, hopeful, and faithful. These small things surround us all day and serve as a constant reminder of God’s unending love. The challenge for us is having the ability to recognize and take the time to enjoy the small things.
For me, it’s the days when I have morning bus duty and I have the chance to step out on Chestnut Street and enjoy the cool morning air and just say hello to everyone. It’s the K-3 students waving to me frantically when I walk by the gym at lunchtime, and the random phone call or email from a fellow principal who just wanted to check up on me (thank you Ms. Eltringham, Mrs. Wade, and Mrs. Walsh!). All day long I look forward to driving my first grader home from school and hearing all about his day, and for the moment when the babysitter opens her door and my three year old comes running into my arms. It’s the sound of my first grader’s highly contagious laughter while I’m cooking dinner, and the surprise call from one of my younger siblings that’s a welcome distraction from my evening coursework. It’s the regular visit my baby brother pays me every night on his way home from work. And it’s ending my day by snuggling up with my boys for nighttime prayers and seeing the pure joy in my youngest son’s face when he finally masters the Sign of the Cross. These small things make everything in my day worthwhile. These small things refresh my spirit and renew my strength daily.
When it’s all said and done, the small things are the very reasons why we do what we do; why we work and toil, why we carry on and persevere. I encourage you as the business of the school year gets underway, to look for the small things in your life that give you strength, and to appreciate and treasure them. Embrace the daily challenges that cross your path by recognizing, valuing, and celebrating the small things. And let us make an extra effort to be one of the small things in someone else’s day by offering a kind word, a greeting, an unexpected phone call or visit, or simply a smile. Let us not get bogged down by the deadlines, the schedules, and the demands of our daily routine so much so that we forget to stop and appreciate God’s goodness. Let us not allow the stressors of daily life to cloud our souls, but rather find our strength, the peace and love of God, and our happiness in the small things.
~ Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people,
a heart that forgives the worst,
a mind that forgets the bad,
and a soul that never loses faith in God. ~
After eleven years in education, I can tell you the first sign of a good teacher. A good teacher takes the time to learn the interests, strengths, and skill levels of the students in their classroom as soon as the school year begins so the delivery of lessons and the pacing of the curriculum can be tailored to meet the individual needs of students. I want to thank our St. Mary’s teachers for taking the time to do exactly this during our first days of school. The dedication of our teachers and staff is unwavering and I’m proud to be a part of such a fine group of professionals.
We kicked off the 2012/2013 school year with grade band assemblies on the morning of our first day. During these assemblies I introduced myself to the students, shared my goals for our school, my expectations for student behavior, and some of the changes to our daily schedule. I talked with each group of students about my desire to see “good old fashioned manners” and courtesy, and I’m so pleased to share with you that I’ve received too many “good mornings,” “good afternoons,” and “how are you Mrs. Schornack’s” to count over this past week! My key message was that we are one school family. As a family, we will take care of each other and I will accept nothing less from my students. I expect the students in grades 6-8 to be the leaders of our school, and I stressed to them that with leadership comes responsibility, and with the fulfillment of responsibilities comes privileges. I also told the middle school students that although I am very strict, I like to make learning fun and that I want them to have such an enjoyable and educational experience that they don’t want to leave St. Mary after eighth grade. The fourth and fifth graders without a doubt offered the most questions for me after our assembly. They were particularly concerned about whether or not we would continue to have “grub days,” which we are renaming “casual days” and if I would still require them to do homework. The K-3 students blew me away when they broke out in applause after my first announcement during their assembly! For the rest of our meeting, they proceeded to clap after each of my sentences, following the lead of the Kindergarten class. I told Mrs. Kemmerer that I would like to hire the Kindergarteners to follow me around all day and just clap for everything I say!
I want to thank grades 6-8 for going out of their way to be extra helpful this past week; holding doors for me and for each other, never hesitating to greet me, and listening respectfully when I’ve met with them. They’ve been very good about “going with the flow” as we make adjustments to our school day and our routines. I’ve truly enjoyed talking with each of the middle school students and doing my best to memorize their names and faces. I’d like to thank grades 4-5 for being so incredibly quiet and well behaved in the hallways, and always offering me a greeting and a smile. What a genuinely nice and respectful group of students! Finally, I want to thank the students in grades K-3 for brightening my day with their enthusiasm. They never hesitate to say “Hi Principal” and are always waving to me. The first grader who ran up to me and gave me a big hug at the end of the second day of school absolutely made my week!
Yesterday we took part in our first “Mass Class,” a tradition I brought with me from St. John. The students went to the Church to review how to enter and exit from Mass, how and why we genuflect, practice the Mass responses, and discuss how to receive Communion reverently in preparation for our first school Mass of the year. I explained to the students that the entire Mass is a prayer from the moment we enter the Church until we exit, and therefore we must do so with the utmost reverence. In order to do this, I’ve asked the entire school to enter and exit Mass in silence with their hands folded, ready for prayer. They did a great job doing this at our first Mass today! (Some of the classes even kept their “prayer hands” all the way back to school!) Many thanks to Mr. McCauley for helping to plan and lead our Mass Class!
While the students and staff are busy getting back into their school routine, our school parents and grandparents have already been offering many hours of service to St. Mary. I’d like to take a moment to recognize and thank our amazing volunteers who jumped in and started helping out right away on the first day of school. What an incredible group of dedicated parents and community members we have! Many thanks to all those who have signed up to help with recess and lunch, our volunteers in the kitchen and the classrooms, those who have put in countless hours helping with our school technology, and the parents who have been hard at work planning/managing Home and School fundraisers, activities, and communication. We are very pleased to have Mrs. Christina Messerly, Mrs. Tracie Kenney, and Mr. Mark Brady employed as recess aides, and Mrs. Kacie Funk and Mrs. Jayne Bryant employed as lunch aides this year. With these aides on staff we have been able to schedule recess before lunch and allow the middle school students to have a regularly scheduled recess break each day. I’ve reminded the students that our aides, and indeed all volunteers in our building are to be respected as staff.
In closing, I’d like to outline our arrival and dismissal procedures for the school year. The staff and I greatly appreciate the cooperation of our school families as we work to keep the safety of our students a top priority. As I stated in my back to school letter, all decisions and procedures are set forth with the best interest of the students in mind, and I thank you for supporting those efforts.
Arrival to School
- Currently, the doors to the main building are locked until 7:15am. Technically speaking, student arrival begins at 7:30am when staff members come on duty. As we get into our regular routine we will transition to keeping the entrances locked until 7:30am for liability reasons and for the safety of our staff and students in Kids CARE. I will post an announcement when we are making this transition.
- All students in grades K-8 must report to the gym for the start of our school day where they can be supervised by the staff on duty. Please do not encourage your child to wait outside of the primary building as we are trying to get the students into a routine. There are two staff members on duty in the gym each morning, and each grade has assigned bleachers with K-5 on one side, and 6-8 on the other.
- K-3 students are escorted to the primary building by our staff after the first bell, so please make sure they come to the gym between 7:30am and 7:45am.
- Students who do not ride a bus must be dropped off at the patio area on Pearl Street. Thank you for observing the signs posted in the unloading zone on Chestnut Street as this area is reserved for buses only.
- Please observe the safety patrol students who help with those crossing the street. Just as we work to protect the children arriving to school, I expect everyone to obey the safety patrol for the protection of those individual students.
- Only bus riders will be dismissed from the main entrance on Chestnut Street.
- Stopping or parking is not permitted in the unloading zone in front of the school. This area is reserved for buses only from 7:30am-3:00pm. I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
- Students who are being picked up will be dismissed from the patio area on Pearl Street and may only be picked up from that location.
- Students must be picked up by 3:00pm.
- For the safety of your children, please do not encourage them to wander off during dismissal or walk to the park to wait for a ride. This is for their protection. Once students leave the care of the staff for the day we might not be available to assist them in an emergency.
- Students who are not picked up by 3:00pm are brought to the school office and must wait in the main entrance inside the building for their own safety. They must check-in with the office before they can leave the building when they are picked up.
A very big thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding as I continue to familiarize myself with the St. Mary’s community and work to address questions and concerns as they arise. Please continue to pray for the success of our school year!
May 24, 2012
Today we hosted a Mass and luncheon in honor of our grandparents. Over 200 grandparents were in attendance and were given the opportunity to visit their grandchildren’s classrooms after Mass and to share lunch and recess time.
Grandparents play an increasingly important role in the lives of our students and have been active in providing transportation to and from school for their grandchildren, acting as chaperones for field trips, tutoring during school hours, and, in some cases, providing tuition assistance that allows their grandchildren to attend our school. Again, many thanks to our grandparents for their support of our school.
On Saturday, May 5th, nine of our middle school students competed at the state science fair at The Ohio State University. Receiving Superior ratings were Gillian Baker, Amanda Stuckey, Chris Carter and Zach Vogel. Excellent ratings were awarded to Connor Huff, Corbin Swisher, Hayden Muckensturm and Aaron Wood. Receiving a rating of Good was David Wood. We at St. Mary’s are honored to have students receive such awards and are proud of their high level of accomplishment. Special thanks to Mrs. Yaple, our 7th/8th grade science teacher, for her guidance in working with our students to achieve this high level of success.
Over the past few weeks I have had people ask me how things have changed since I was a student in grade school here at St. Mary’s during the 1950’s and in high school in the early 1960’s. I would say the structure of the family is one of the biggest changes. I can’t think of one family in my class of 120 students in the second grade and 88 when we graduated from high school that were what we would call today single-parent families. One boy’s father died of a heart attack when we were in grade school but other than that I was not aware of any divorce or separation situations.
My mother, as were most mothers at that time, didn’t have a job outside the house. She was a full-time mother. Every day when I came home after school she was there to greet my brother and myself with milk and cookies. It was no different for others in my class.
If I got in trouble at school, I got in bigger trouble at home. There was no debate as to whether the teacher was right or wrong . . . the teacher was always right!
There wasn’t too much to watch on television (and that was black and white) and we had no electronic gadgets to occupy our time, so my classmates and I would ride our bikes around the neighborhood until our parents told us we had to be back home. Homework had to be done before supper time. We always ate together as a family and that’s the time we talked about school and whatever else was going on in our lives. It was also the time we learned about our relatives and other family happenings.
Every Saturday was confession day. My classmates and I went to confession every Saturday. It wasn’t that we were all that bad . . . it was something that our parents insisted we do (and they went as well!). I can remember long lines at each confessional (we had three priests here at St. Mary’s at that time). I seemed to always have the same penance – - three Hail Marys, three Our Fathers, and three Glory Be to the Fathers for the conversion of Russia.
We didn’t have tuition back in those days. It wasn’t until around 1962 when I was in high school, that tuition was started. It was $25.00 a year per student and my parents were wondering how they would be able to afford paying that much money to send my brother and me to a Catholic school. Some how they managed to come up with the money.
As I reflect back on those days it seems that times were much simpler then compared to today. I think that we had stress in our lives . . . preparing for tests, competing in various sports and the such but it seemed to be a different kind of stress and we did a lot of things just for the fun of it. We were caught in between the Second World War/Korean War and the Vietnam War. Some would say it was the age of innocence. Whatever you call it or however one remembers it, those times were unique and probably gone forever.
Do you have children born in the years 1983-2001? Have you ever wondered how young people today see the world and interact with it? Come out for a session on the Millennial Generation entitled “Understanding the World of Millenial Youth and their Connection to Church” on Sunday, April 29th at 6:30pm in the St. Mary Spirit Center. Learn about the religiosity of today’s teens and young adults and how we can better minister to them in order to pass on the treasure of our Catholic faith! ALL ARE WELCOME!
April 19, 2011
Congratulations to Mrs. Wettersten, her student directors, and the cast and crew of Fiddler on the Roof for the outstanding performances this past weekend! Like a team preparing for an athletic contest, there are many hours of practice that go into a production of this magnitude and there are many people who work behind the scenes to bring it all together. In addition to the cast there are those who assisted her as stage crew managers, make-up artists, the audio technicians and those who worked the spotlights. It takes all of these people, working together, to make a production such as this a reality and I thank all of these people for the time and energy they put into this musical. We are very proud of the tradition of a spring musical at the junior high level here at St. Mary’s and all of that credit goes to Mrs. Wettersten and her love of the theater and her willingness to put endless hours of time into working with our students in order to give them the opportunity of experiencing theater at this level. There aren’t too many middle schools/junior highs that put on spring musicals such as this or who have the tradition of doing so. As a community, Lancaster has a rich tradition of supporting the arts and it is good to be a part of that tradition.
Thank you also to the parents of the students involved in Fiddler on the Roof. Without your support, help in providing food for the days that practice extended into the evening, providing transportation, assisting in make-up and costumes, to name just a few things, and simply being there to help was greatly appreciated!
The junior high athletic department here at St. Mary’s is seeking an athletic director effective June 1, 2012. The athletic director is responsible to the principal for being compliant as regards diocesan as well as Ohio High School Athletic Association policies. The athletic director would be working with the athletic director at Fisher Catholic High School in building consistency in the area of athletics between the two schools. This is a stipend position. Contact our current athletic director, Dave Anders, at (H) 740-654-4674 or (school) 740-654-1632 for further details.
This past Wednesday Capt. Robert Krooner, father of Mary (6), Nick (3), Jake (1), and Abby (K) and husband of Theresa visited with the students which are in his children’s classes to share his experiences while serving in Afghanistan this past October – April. He also presented our school with a framed flag that was flown over his military base which will be displayed in our main hallway. One of the things that sort of surprised both myself and the teachers who were present was our students’ knowledge of military weapons. During the assembly, more than one student asked if Capt. Krooner carried particular types of weapons, naming them by name, such as M2, M4, etc. I wondered where these students got their knowledge of such weapons and was told that there were a lot of military games on the market now and that they probably played a lot of these games at home. I’m not quite sure that playing such games is necessarily good since I’m told that some can be violent, but I will say that, for better or worse, some of our students have a broad knowledge of the names a several types of military weapons that I hope they never have to use in real life.
March 29 & April 4, 2012
Congratulations to the following students who took part in the district science fair at OU-L this past weekend and who will advance to the state competition at The Ohio State University on May 5th: David Wood, Aaron Wood, Hayden Muckensturm, Amanda Stuckey, Gillian Baker, Chris Carter and Zach Vogel. Alternates include Connor Huff and Corbin Swisher. Thanks go to Mrs. Yaple, our 7th and 8th grade science teacher, for preparing our students for our local competition as well as preparing them for the district competition.
I hope that you and your families have a prayerful Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter weekend. These next three days are called the Sacred Triduum and include Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. These days are at the center of our belief in the Paschal Mystery, namely the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. I hope that you will take time to attend the special services on all three days. Each day has its own special meaning and if we experience each with open, prayerful hearts, Easter will mean so much more this year.
After our Easter break I will be sharing with you some of my memories of the past 42 years as I prepare to embark on a new phase in my life called retirement. It has been an incredible journey and it will be fun sharing some of it with you. Stay tuned!
Our parish will be offering the “Quick Journey Through the Bible” series a second time due to continued interest. This 8-week series will be held each Thursday from April 19th – June 7th from 7-8:30PM in the Spirit Center. If you’re interested please stop in the South Entrance for more information and to register. Those who attended the series which just ended earlier this month, are welcome to attend any evening of this series with no charge. If you have any questions, please see Brian McCauley.