October 20, 2014

The Trinity difference

Each year on the Friday before Homecoming, we have a pep rally in our gym.  The students are dressed in their class colors and they decorate their section of the gym.  At the conclusion, we will gather as one school on the gym floor, hold hands, and together pray the Our Father.  I usually have the honor of leading the prayer but our former colleague Mr. Bielik made a guest appearance and he graciously led us in the prayer.  Mr. Bielik and his wife are heading off to Ecuador in January as part of the Peace Corps.

Mrs. Henning took this great picture of the school in prayer.

This is what it's all about, folks.

"To whom much is given…"

Today we added group photos of all the major mercy trips we sponsor - Browning, MT, Guatemala City, and Philadelphia - to the Campus Ministry office.  I wish I took group photos of our March for Life trips over the years but alas.  I also added a Blackfeet Nation flag (the people we serve in Montana) and pictures given to our Guatemala mission groups by a local artist there.

My next goal is a mural of a number of holy men and women!

From left to right, the groups are Montana, Guatemala, and Philadelphia.

October 19, 2014

Cardboard City - 0100 hours

When I entered education in 2006, I never thought I would be sitting in the school gym at 1am on a Saturday night!  But, it's nights like these when I remember why I do what I do.  Tonight is Cardboard City IV, our annual fundraiser for New Horizons for New Hampshire.  Over 75 students are on the front lawn of our school (none are sleeping though it seems!) experiencing homeless for a night.  They also raised funds from families and friends and all of the proceeds will go to New Horizons.  
Students began arriving around 6pm to set-up their cardboard homes for the night.  We then went into the gym at 8pm for Sunday Vigil Mass celebrated by our chaplain, Father Richard Dion.  He spoke of his own experiences as a seminarian serving homeless people in Baltimore, bringing them sandwiches and soup.  One woman said to him, "You really care about us, why?"  One of the seminarians said, "Because we are bringing God's mercy" (or something to that effect, I can't recall the precise quote but it was very moving).  He also said another homeless woman told a fellow seminarian that she was going to commit suicide that night but the fact that the guys brought them food gave her hope.  

Following Mass, the students were treated to pizza by my friend Dan Puopolo.  Dan bought them pizza last year too and graciously offered to do it again this year.  We then all watched the movie "Rudy."  Fun fact - Mr. Sheehan '79 of our math department was at the Notre Dame game when they filmed the final scene in the stadium.

Now the students are outside talking, throwing balls around, and some are playing basketball in the gym.  We will wrap up in about 5 1/2 hours at sunrise.  Please pray for these amazing young people and the generous adults who are staying up with me tonight.

October 18, 2014

Perfect timing

Tonight is Cardboard City IV and today's tweet from Pope Francis could not be more timely:

October 17, 2014

Prayer of the day

Dear Lord,

I want to thank You for everything that You've blessed me with in my life.  I am very fortunate for my family.  Please pray for all the people and their families that homeless.

by a student

October 16, 2014

Prayer of the day

Today in the Church we celebrate the feast of St. Hedwig.  I confess I don't know a lot about her but I know she is beloved in the Polish community and we have a parish here in Manchester named after her.  Her feast always reminds me of Mr. Gorski '58, our late, legendary English teacher who taught here for 51 years and died last year.  He was a member of St. Hedwig Parish and the proudest Polish person I ever met!

In honor of Mr. Gorski and today's feast then, this was our prayer this morning:

O St Hedwig, in this world you rejected the honours of the Court, its pomp, luxury and pleasures, and went to be with the poor to help them in the destitution and misery of life. There in Heaven, cast a kind look on us poor mortals, and obtain for us the grace (mention your request) and that of living in the peace and friendship of God.

October 14, 2014

Their just reward

As part of our food drive last month, I promised awards to the top 3 homerooms that brought in the most food.  Mr. Carnevale, Mrs. Leblond, and Mr. Martinez's homerooms all made the top three and got to choose from no homework for a week in theology classes, buffalo tenders from Billy's here in Manchester, or donuts from Top Donuts in Lowell, MA.  Mr. Carnevale and Mr. Martinez's homerooms opted for the donuts and Mrs. Leblond's homeroom took the buffalo tenders.  I was happy as I got to sample both!

Thanks again to everyone who helped us raise 7,800 pounds for the New Hampshire Food Bank.

Speaking of the Food Bank, Parable Magazine, the magazine for the Diocese of Manchester, has a nice feature story on the Food Bank as it's marking its 30th anniversary this year.  You can read it here.