October 29, 2014

Why I do what I do

The other night some fine hooligans decided to smash the pumpkins that I had on my front steps at home.  I mentioned this in passing to one of my classes and was very moved when I found this on my desk this morning:

October 28, 2014

May her soul...

You may have heard about the woman who was murdered in Lincoln last week.  I regret to announce that the victim, Taylor Lessard, was a 2006 graduate of Trinity High School.  I didn't know Taylor as I began working here in August of 2006 but it was still stunning to hear of her awful death.  I am not aware of funeral arrangements as of yet but will post them as soon as I hear them.

May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

St. Timothy Award

So sorry for the radio silence this past week.  Between the end of the quarter madness and me teaching additional classes (one of our teachers has been out injured), it's been quite a crazy week here!  But, it was all worth it on Sunday when I attended the St. Timothy Award celebration at St. Joseph Cathedral here in Manchester.  Each year, the Diocese of Manchester recognizes teenagers for their commitment to the Church and their faith.  I was happy that Liam Quinn '15, one my main go to guys in Campus Ministry, was one of the recipients this year.  In addition to all he does here at Trinity High School, he is very active in his parish, St. Raphael's.  It was St. Raphael's who initiated Liam's nomination and I was more than happy to provide a letter on his behalf.

The ceremony was part of Evening Prayer at the cathedral and after Bishop Libasci's homily, the 20 teenagers and about 10 adults were recognized for their work and achievements.  The presenter read excerpts from the letters people wrote on their behalf and I was incredibly moved by the amazing faith and work our teenagers are doing.  I always tell our students that they have such power and abilities and they don't have to wait until they are older to do extraordinary things for God and His Church.

Following the ceremony, Liam's mom (Katie '77) treated me, Liam, family members, and Mr. Sheehan '79 of our math department to dinner at the Puritan Backroom.  We noticed that there was a political event but we never expected to see Sen. John McCain walk in!  He went around to every table to talk to people and me being a political junkie took a picture with him.  It was a wonderful cap to an amazing afternoon.

October 22, 2014

Vocation Day 2014

For the past 24 years, St. Christopher's School in Nashua has been holding a Vocation Day.  This is a day dedicated to introducing the various vocations in the Church to the students and to encourage them to consider God's call in their lives.  The day begins with Mass, followed by a lovely breakfast for the presenters, and then the students hear from 3 speakers in 20 minute intervals.

I was privileged to be invited to speak again this year.  This was the fourth time I have spoken at Vocation Day and it's always one of my favorite days of the year.  The Mass was celebrated by our superintendent, Fr. John Fortin, OSB, who stressed his his homily that he wanted to be something different every year in school - a fireman one year, a pilot the next, a lawyer, etc.  It wasn't until much later, he said, that he discovered that God was calling him to be a monk and a priest.  He encouraged the students to listen to God's voice and whatever they do in life, do it well.

Following Mass, we were treated to a great breakfast and the presenters had an opportunity to spend time together.  We were then taken to our classrooms.  I first went to a pre-K class along with the president of Bishop Guertin High School and a Sacred Heart brother, also from Bishop Guertin.  We had fun talking to them and at one point I was attacked as I went to high five them!  I told them I was used to it as I have 3 kids of my own who do the same thing to me everyday!  I then spoke to one fifth grade class and two sixth grade classes.  I spoke of my marriage and my job and how money will never, ever make them happy.  Follow your passions, I told them, and God will always provide.

St. Christopher's is one of the premier schools in the diocese and I believe is the biggest Catholic elementary school in the diocese.  Mrs. Clarke the principal does amazing work with such an amazing faculty and staff and supportive parents.  Kudos to them for all they do.

SAINT John Paul II

When our campus ministry office was dedicated in October of 2005 it was named after Pope John Paul II who died in April of that year.  Now that he is Saint John Paul II, we rededicated Campus Ministry today and officially renamed it the Saint John Paul II Campus Ministry Office.  We did it today because today is the first feast of Saint John Paul II.

I ordered a new sign for our front door and put it up today and served cake and soda to the students.  I announced the free cake and soda around 9:20am, the cake was long gone by 9:45am!

Wishing everyone a blessed feast day for our patron saint!

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.