November 21, 2014

Best week ever

I love Thanksgiving.  It's all about food, football, family, 4-day weekend...and no presents to buy!  Since I've been in Campus Ministry, Thanksgiving is almost a full week long holiday for me.

The Monday of Thanksgiving is always the day we collect our Thanksgiving Baskets so I begin the morning greeting everyone outside as they drop them off.  Throughout the day, I love looking outside and seeing hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of baskets on our front lawn.  At 3pm, we caravan to the Parish of the Transfiguration and Blessed Sacrament Parish, the recipients of our baskets.  It's always so heartwarming to see the people who will volunteer to distribute the baskets the next day.

On Tuesday, I take group of students to the Radisson Hotel in Manchester to help out at the New Horizons Thanksgiving Breakfast.  This annual event raises over $100,000 for New Horizons and our students help out by selling raffle tickets, collecting donations, etc.  Everyone who is everyone in Manchester is at the breakfast and is a chance to see some old friends.

Finally on Wednesday we give thanks to our God as a school community with our Thanksgiving Mass.  Fr. Richard Dion will be our celebrant at Msgr. Anthony Fronterio, the chaplain of St. Joseph Regional Junior High School, will con-celebrate as the St. Joe's community will be joining us.

This triduum of sorts is such a great way to enter into Thanksgiving.  I can't believe I get paid to do this!

Their mite

Each year, St. Joseph Regional Junior High School helps us out with our Thanksgiving Basket Drive. I picked up the items today and they were able to donate enough items to make about 30 baskets.  They weren't able to donate everything but this will go a long way towards our goal!  I am so grateful to the students and teachers there for their support.  They will be joining us this year for our Thanksgiving Mass on Wednesday.

St. Christopher...pray for us

Periodically, I will go the last session of our Driver's Ed classes and offer a prayer for the students who are about to start driving.  I also present them with a St. Christopher medal as he is the patron saint of safe travel.  Yesterday was the last class of the most recent group so Mr. Healy '78, our driver's ed teacher, invited me in.  I said a few words about St. Christopher and read the following prayer:

Grant these students, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, that no shall be hurt as they pass by.  You gave us life, we pray that no act of these students may take away or mar that gift of Yours.  Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear the company of these students from the evils of fire and calamity.  These them to use their cars for others need, nor miss through love of undue speed the beauty of this world, that thus they may with joy and courtesy go on their way.  St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect these students, and lead them safely to their destinies.  

November 20, 2014

Friendship Dinner

Last week our principal Mr. Mailloux '72 (who turned the big 6-0 today) received an invitation to a dinner and awards ceremony for the Turkish Cultural Center here in Manchester.  One of the honorees was our good friend Charlie Sherman of New Horizons (as well as the governor, the president of Southern New Hampshire University, and a political reporter) and it seemed like an interesting event so he decided to attend.  He asked me and Mr. Connell '90, our development director, to come along as well.

The event was held last night at the Radisson Hotel on Elm Street and featured speakers focusing on Islam, Turkey, and ways in which communities could have a better understanding of one another.  The most moving part of the night was when John Foley, the father of James Foley, spoke of his son and his efforts to shine light on dark situations in the Middle East.  A well had been donated in Uganda in memory of James by one of the sponsors of the dinner and Mr. Foley "accepted" the gift on behalf of the family.  He said that a well was the ideal way to remember Jim as water gives life and is sustaining.

Following this, the award recipients were recognized and they each offered a few remarks.  Gov. Hassan spoke of how events such as these helped bring different communities together in friendship and fellowship and helped bridge divides and misunderstandings.  Charlie Sherman spoke of the work at New Horizons, President Paul LeBlanc of SNHU spoke of the role of education in bringing people together, and Kevin Landrigan talked about the power of the media.

All told, it was a lovely evening and a nice opportunity to hear about the great work being done by so many people in New Hampshire across all faiths and ways of life.

November 17, 2014

Priesthood Sunday

In recent years, the last Sunday of October has been known as Priesthood Sunday.  This is a day for the Church community to honor and thank our priests for the many sacrifices they make and for the amazing work they do for the Lord.  We have a custom of sending brief notes of thanks and encouragement to every priest in the Diocese of Manchester around this date.  Our juniors and seniors composed the notes and I mailed them out.  I must confess that I just finally sent the final batch but most of the priests did get their notes around the actual date.

We are all go grateful for all these men and for their selfless devotion to God's Church and people.

March for Life 2015

Once again, Trinity High School is sponsoring a pilgrimage to Washington, DC for the March for Life. This will be the 10th or 11th time we've gone although we had to cancel last year due to the weather.  The cost this year is $80.  The cost is kept low thanks to the generosity of donors and the fact that we don't have to pay for our lodging (we stay at two Catholic high schools).  We will be leaving on Jan. 21 and be back in the middle of the night on Jan. 23!  It's a whirlwind trip but it's so much fun and a great opportunity to stand up for life with 500,000 of our closest friends.

Packets are available in my office and it's first come first serve with a maximum of 90 students.

Advent 2014

It's hard to believe but Advent begins a week from Saturday.  We will be marking the season with a different event each day during Advent.  All are welcome to join us for any of the following events:

Advent 2014

First Week of Advent
Monday, Dec. 1 - Lighting of first Advent candle - 7:45am

Tuesday, Dec. 2 - Confessions, chapel - 11am-12pm

Wednesday, Dec. 3 - Choir and Band Christmas Concert, gym - 7pm

Thursday, Dec. 4 - New Horizons Service opportunity - 4:15pm-5:45pm

Friday, Dec. 5 - Morning Prayer and Donuts, chapel 7:30am-7:45am

Second Week of Advent
Monday, Dec. 8 - Lighting of second Advent candle - 7:45am
      Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Mass, gym - 9:15am

Tuesday, Dec. 9 - Confessions, chapel - 11am-12pm

Wednesday, Dec. 10 - Candy canes in honor of St. Nicholas  
                                   “Elf” during lunch mods in Campus Ministry

Thursday, Dec. 11 - Morning Prayer and Donuts, chapel- 7:30am-7:45am
                               “Elf” during lunch mods in Campus Ministry

Friday, Dec. 12 - Prayer services in theology classes for Feast of our Lady of  
                           Guadalupe - all day in chapel

Saturday, Dec. 13 - Trip to New York City with Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Third Week of Advent
Monday, Dec. 15 - Lighting of third Advent candle - 7:45am
                              St. Raphael’s Food Pantry - 7pm-8pm

Tuesday, Dec. 16 - Confessions - 11am-12pm, chapel

Wednesday, Dec. 17 - Christmas Music in between classes - all day

Thursday, Dec. 18 - Morning prayer and Donuts, chapel 7:30am

Friday, Dec. 19 - Advent/Christmas Mass, 10am, St. Anthony’s Church