Dear Star Parents and Families,
This week we celebrate the feast of our city’s holy patron, St. Francis of Assisi. I grew up in my Catholic school, St. Patrick’s in San Jose, listening to the Prayer of St. Francis during Mass. It is one of my favorite songs to sing. In fact, I am listening to it now as I write.
As the lyrics fill this room, I realize I have had the job of being a peacemaker for quite a long time. After all, I worked in the 5th-grade classroom for over a decade. During the course of that time, I watched the power of peace in action — which was most often during the ten minutes after recess.
Ten-year-olds, you see, are amazing people. They are so readily able to discover a place of peace among themselves in times of utter discord with their neighbor. Even though they can be the worst at holding grudges about wrongs done as far back as preschool, it always amazed me when I witnessed how they still found ways to peacefully and cooperatively work together in the classroom simply because it is what we ask of them at Star.
In short, we ask them to practice the healing power of forgiveness, and often miraculously, they rise to expectation.
So, as I listen to St. Francis’s Prayer, I realize just how fitting the prayer is when I consider the work we are meant to do at Star this year.
The song is a call to the greatest form of love, one that transcends old hurts and pain. One that reminds us of what we as Catholic Christians strive to do:
To be an instrument of God’s peace
To show love where there is hatred
To bring harmony to discord
To pardon an injury
To bring truth where there is falsehood
To show faith during times of doubt
To clasp onto hope when there is despair
To bring light into darkness
and to find joy despite heart rendering sadness.
This is by no means an easy call, but here in this place, it is one in which we firmly believe and work toward every day. So, as always, I look to the children as models. They are the ones who remind me on a daily basis that such peace is possible and worthy of being accomplished.
This week, I wish you much peace,
Mrs. Theresa Poon