I haven't mentioned this topic too much on this blog, but it's something that is absolutely consuming my family at this time.
Our Diocese has proposed that the wonderful parochial school that our Big Kids attend should close in June, and the students sent to a newly-assigned "regional" school out of town.
We know that this is all about finances and to some extent "politics" and we also know that we have a slim chance at best of reversing this decision.
Nonetheless, we did submit a proposal in December enumerating several strategies that either are currently in place or could easily be implemented, that would help our school stay open and financially healthy. We asked at that time if a presentation by members of the school community coud be scheduled.
Two days ago the Diocese graciously invited our committee members to make such a presentation. It's scheduled for 1:15 this afternoon. Big Daddy and another School Dad have worked very hard on this presentation.
Throughout the past two months since the Diocese's conclusions were released to the press, we in our school community have been very careful. Yes, we disagree with the conclusions; but we do not want to be defiant about this. All of us are parents, and we are well aware that our children are watching and asking questions. Some of us have been interviewed by the press; during Christmas vacation my own family appeared on the local television news in a story about this issue.
But this has become more than just an issue with the school. It has been an opportunity, for all the families who are working to keep our school open, to show our children that standing up for what you believe is important WILL involve sacrifice, MUST be done respectfully, and DOES require careful and thorough research and planning, not to mention prayer. It has also been an opportunity for us to become better acquainted with our school community--not only other families, but the faculty and staff who work so hard and care so much about the children in the school. Getting to know many of these people better has been a blessing to us at this difficult time for our school--and for the whole parish.
It's comforting to know that during this presentation, our school children will be in the middle of celebrating First Friday Mass in our parish church. If I didn't have a sick child at home today, I'd be joining them there. I will have to join them in spirit, and you can bet I will be praying the following prayer to Saint John Neumann, who founded our parish:
PRAYER TO SAINT JOHN NEUMANN
O my God, I adore Your infinite Majesty with all the powers of my soul. I thank you for the graces and gifts which You bestowed upon Your faithful Servant, Saint John Neumann. I ask You to glorify him also on earth. For this end I beseech You to grant me the favor which I humbly ask from Your Fatherly mercy. Amen.