Weekly Letter (Oct 12 ’15)

Dear Parents and Students,

Years ago when my wife and I were expecting our first child we went to our pastor to ask about taking a Baptism Prep class. At the time we were both veteran Catholic school teachers who were serving as principals at two great Catholic schools. Naturally, we assumed the pastor would excuse us from taking the Baptism Prep class. He did … by making us teach it … for six years. There were three other couples who taught the classes with us and we really enjoyed the classes and became very good friends.

After a few months of working together, one of the other Dads asked me if I would help him out by becoming a Eucharistic Minister at Good Shepherd Church. I immediately declined. Teaching about Baptism was one thing; passing out Holy Communion was another. Ken didn’t let me off the hook too easily. He asked me every month for three months, and I declined every month for three months.

Finally, one night while we were eating dinner at Ken’s house, he pulled me aside and said, “I know why you won’t become a Eucharistic Minister; you don’t think you’re worthy of doing it.” I told him that I had never thought of it that way, but yes, I was not worthy of passing out Communion. Ken laughed at me and said, “Of course you’re not worthy, but we need your help anyway.”

Not only was Ken right, but now I had to be a Eucharistic Minister. I also learned that there are a lot of things in this world that I am worthy of. I earn my paycheck. I deserve good service at my bank. The plumber I pay to fix the pipes is paid fairly, so I deserve to have the work done right.

But it also occurred to me that there are a lot of things in my life that I am not worthy of.  I did not earn Sandra’s love; she chose to love me. I did not earn my children; God sent them as precious gifts to me (yes, I am aware of Mrs. Poon’s Family Life class). I’m pretty sure that though I earned my degrees and credentials, I currently have a job that I am not worthy of but I am so glad to have.

So, who or what do you have in your life that you didn’t really earn, but have anyway? Has God, family or friends given you precious gifts because they love you? Do you believe that you too are a precious gift to someone?

I often tell my sixth grade Religion class that when I finally stand face to face with Saint Peter and he asks me why I should be allowed to enter heaven, that my education, hard work and really cool electric car are not going to get me anywhere. But if I can say that I loved someone and someone loved me, I believe I’ll be okay.

Have a great week,


PS           As you may have heard by now Ms. Pence will be moving on from Star at the end of December. She has been given an opportunity to work in Japan designing project-based curriculum for English Language Learners. Aly spoke with me about this opportunity early last spring and I am so appreciative of her decision to stay at Star a semester longer before moving on. The girls on her volleyball team, the Finance Committee and the Parent Club officers were informed of her decision last week as was Father Vito. Aly sent a letter to the first grade parents on Friday. We have been searching, interviewing and trying short term subs in an effort to find a long term sub. Our hope is to have someone on board to team teach with Aly for a few weeks before Christmas. I will keep you posted.

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