February 2, 2016

"Give them through our hands..."

Continuing our observance of Catholic Schools Week, the junior class today made bologna and cheese sandwiches during their theology classes for the good people of New Horizons.  We got the idea from St. Francis Inn, the soup kitchen in Philadelphia we serve each summer.  Every Saturday a local church brings in sandwiches for St. Francis Inn's guests they are distributed during the Saturday meal.

Each junior was asked to bring in the bologna, cheese, bread, and tin foil to help.  They each made two sandwiches which should yield well over 200 sandwiches.  We will bring the sandwiches to New Horizons after school.

Following the assembly of sandwiches, I spoke with the students about our summer trip to St. Francis Inn and invited them to consider joining us.  We also prayed the following prayer from Pope Paul VI:

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men and women throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger.  Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding grant them love, peace, and joy.

February 1, 2016

Closing prayer of the day

As I mentioned in a previous post, for Catholic Schools Week, the freshman class composed and is reciting the daily morning prayers.  In addition, the sophomore class composed and is reciting the closing prayer of the day.  Today's closing prayer was read by Ally Twitchell '18:

Lord, Grant us the strength to continue working hard and striving for the best. God please help heal all the suffering souls and all the mistreated and forgotten in the world. Please grant us the knowledge of your existence so we can work towards the kingdom of heaven and live with you forever in peace. Amen 

Cathedral tour

The sanctuary of the cathedral
Last year, St. Joseph Cathedral underwent extensive restorations including the addition of an high altar, stations of the cross, and other cosmetic changes.  The high altar and stations came from a closed church in Boston, Holy Trinity Church.  The cathedral is now quite beautiful whereas before, even the most devout Catholic might say it was a little "lacking."  So for Catholic Schools Week last year, we took the seniors for a tour and we decided to do that again this year.  Half of the class took the tour this morning and the other half will go tomorrow.
Blessed Sacrament Chapel

The tours are led by Barbara Miles, the archivist for the Diocese of Manchester.  We began the tours at the cathedral's Holy Door which is located in the lobby area of the cathedral.  Every cathedral around the world has a Holy Door as part of the Year of Mercy.  Barb explained the significance of the Holy Door and the Year of Mercy and the kids then walked through it.  The doors were constructed for the occasion and have crosses on them from Ste. Marie's Parish and part of the communion rail from the former St. George's Parish which look more like gates when hung on the door.  Once you go through the door, there is a section with a statue of the Blessed Mother and some artifacts about the diocese.

Barb then took the students into the main area of the cathedral where she spoke about the stained glass windows and how they told a story for those who were uneducated or illiterate. Thus, they are very detailed and quite stunning.  Each one, she said, is insured for over $1 million!  The students were then shown the sanctuary, the new high altar, the bishop's chair.  From here, we went into the sacristy to look at some of the ornate vestments and instruments that date back to the founding of the diocese in 1884.  The tour concluded with a tour of the crypt, where five of the seven deceased bishops are buried, and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

The crypt
This is always a lovely tour and really a place where most of our students have never been.  They are impressed, I think, by the history and beauty of the cathedral and the treasures it contains.  I am so grateful to Barb for her amazing tour and for keeping the kids interested, not an easy task!

Prayer of the day

Throughout this week, our morning prayers will be read by members of the freshmen class who also composed them.  Today's was written by Caroline Schwamb '19 and read by Mitch Feren '19:

On this day during Catholic Schools Week, we pray for our parents.  With all that they give to us, we babe so much be grateful for.  With all the times they have watched out for us, may we always care for them and attempt to give back to them what they have given to us.

Thanking our parents

This morning we kicked off Catholic Schools Week 2016 and as always, we began by thanking our parents.  As a Catholic school parent myself, I know how hard it is to make that tuition payment each month, especially when there are much more affordable (i.e free) options!  We understand that if it were not for the sacrifices of our parents, our school would not exist.  So, as parents dropped off their children this morning, we greeted them with coffee and donuts as a very small way to say thank you.  Thankfully it was quite mild this year.  Last year it was so bitterly cold, we lucked out this time.

January 31, 2016

Catholic Schools Week 2016

Tomorrow we kick off our annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week, a week set apart to celebrate our mission as a Catholic school.  As always, we have a series of events to mark this week:

February 1, 2016
Celebrating our Parents - Faculty and staff will hand out coffee and donuts to parents as they drop off their children to thank them for entrusting their children's education to us

Celebrating our Faith - Seniors will take a tour of St. Joseph Cathedral and walk through the Holy Door

February 2, 2016
Celebrating our Community - Juniors will make bologna and cheese sandwiches for the good people of New Horizons

Celebrating our Faith - Second half of seniors will take a tour of St. Joseph Cathedral and walk through the Holy Door

February 3, 2016
Celebrating our students - All students will have a dress down day and free ice cream sundaes served by faculty and staff during lunch

Celebrating our Faith - Blessing of Throats for the Feast of St. Blaise in the chapel during theology classes

February 4, 2016
Celebrating our faculty and staff - All faculty and staff will have a dress down day and will be served lunch

Celebrating our Heritage - During theology classes, students will watch the film “LV’s Ride”, a documentary about a 2011 cross country bike ride by Lasallian Volunteers

February 5, 2016
Celebrating our Faith and our Religious - We will close Catholic Schools Week with a special Mass and reception.  We have invited all local men and women religious to join us for Mass as the Church concludes the Year of Religious Life.  Many of these men and women work(ed) in Catholic schools (including Trinity High School) so it is quite fitting we honor them at this Mass.  The reception will follow the Mass.

In addition, the freshman class is composing the daily morning prayers and the sophomores are composing the daily afternoon prayers.

January 29, 2016


The New Hampshire Primary is one week from Tuesday.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I met with every senior who is 18 or will be 18 by Primary Day and encouraged them to register to vote and to vote in the primary.  We will also be holding a mock election in theology classes on that day.

To promote the primary, we created a bulletin board with bumper stickers of all the major candidates. I visited every campaign office in Manchester earlier this week and picked up the stickers.  Martin O'Malley's office didn't have any bumper stickers so they gave me a sign instead.  Also, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum don't have campaign offices in New Hampshire so I wasn't able to get one of theirs (although they might not still be in the race after Monday).  I also posted a sample ballot of both parties and a poster that describes the candidates' experience and positions.

This is an exciting time to be working in New Hampshire and I encourage the students to make the most of it.  Most states don't get the sort of access that they do so enjoy it while it lasts!