If you have spent any time here on FoF, you know how supportive I am of our local Catholic School – St. John the Baptist. Four of our five have attended St. John’s (the fifth (#1 of 5) didn’t due to his age). It’s bittersweet to think that we are down to our last St. John’s attendee. St. John’s has been a second family to us. So, I plan on making the most of what time we have left (as parents with a student(s) enrolled).
Each year the Catholic Church celebrates “Catholic Schools Week”. According to the National Catholic Schools Association – “National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities, and our nation.
On Saturday we had a kick-off celebration Mass followed by cookies, coffee, and milk in the church’s Gathering Area. St. John’s students were invited to participate in the evening mass as greeters, readers, singers, gift bearers, etc.
At the end of mass, the school recognizes two people important to the school. The school gives out a “Honorary Graduate” award (one who did not graduate from St. John’s but who’s service to the school, church, and/or community represent the teachings of the school) and a “Distinguished Graduate” award (who graduated from St. John’s who has carried the teachings of the school beyond his or her time attending, having gone on to tremendous things for the school, church, and/or community.)This year, in BOTH cases, very well deserving men and friends of ours won the award(s). In BOTH cases, they were WELL deserved!
The “Honorary Graduate” is the father of our former neighbors and good friends.
The “Distinguished Graduate” award went to a very talented and inspirational husband and father. Our sons went to St. John’s together.
I could not imagine two more deserving men!
It is my honor and privilege to say I know both of them!
They are photographed along with our school Principal and our Parish Priest.
After the kick-off mass, the focus shifts back to the school and the students. Each school day is given it’s own theme around the general weekly theme. As you can see, it’s a busy week at St. John’s
Monday – Follow your dreams! (Pajama / Lounge wear – All school kickoff assembly)
Tuesday – We Are All One Team! (Favorite team jersey day – Family Lunch Day)
Wednesday – We are all different and yet all fit together! (Uniforms with mismatched / misfit socks – weekly mass)
Thursday – Get the St. John’s Spirit! (School Spirit clothing day – Students will serve the community by volunteering time at our local nursing home. Singing songs, playing games, and visiting with the residents (many of whom attended St. John’s themselves!))
Friday – We are all a beautiful party of God’s world. (Rainbow day – each grade wears a different color of the rainbow – Field Trip – and St. John’s Family Association Pizza and Movie night)
Today was “Family Lunch Day”. Parents are welcomed into the school to partake in lunch with their children. I was delighted to discover that I had the day off, so (of course) I planned on attending.
This year we were very fortunate to have the menu and dinner prepared by our very own school parent (and esteemed Chef) Troy Mahoney!
The menu for the day included Baked Herb Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Beans, a dinner roll fruit, and desert.
I tracked down #5 of 5, and we got into the lunch line. As fate would have it, we were (of course) second to last in line, but – it was all good – as the family in front of us are good friends and our daughters are classmates and good friends too!
We passed the time in line doing goofy “father / daughter stuff”. We stepped on each other’s feet, I walked with her standing on my feet (like a marionette). I tried to get her to “look the other way” by tapping on her shoulder (the one opposite to where I was standing) – you know.. Goofy “father / daughter stuff”.
Before we knew it, we were at the serving line, and the wonderful St. John’s volunteer servers were loading up our trays. #5 of 5 picked out a seat, and we enjoyed our lunch together visiting about school and making jokes.
(…and… of course, taking time for a quick “father / daughter selfie”)
I dropped #5 of 5 back off, but not without giving her a little grief about how messy her desk was (I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree in this case – as some of my “Nativity Family” may be able to confirm.)
All in all, it was a great afternoon. I can’t thank the AMAZING staff at St. John the Baptist for all they do. A finer group of people would be difficult to find – and I am grateful for their presence – not only in my life, but in the life of my children.
Family Lunch Day. It really doesn’t seem like all that much. Parents arrive. Parents enjoy lunch with their kids. Parents return their kids to the classroom, and go home.
What it is to me is is just another shining example (as little as they all seem, they sure add up!) why I love
St. John’s School so very much!