September 14, 2014
Sometimes our youth of today get a bad rap for being self-absorbed, feeling entitled, not showing respect or lacking responsibility. These are real concerns as we remember how it used to be and the expectations bestowed upon us when we were growing up. Often, it was not a democratic process, but an authoritarian one as our moms and dads didn’t exactly ask us to be critical thinkers or problem solvers, but only to do as they said and not question or talk back!
I would like to share the picture that I see at Our Lady as I have the privilege to pop into classes, walk the halls, show up at lunch time or recess, be present at masses and overhear conversations in the hall and passing periods. Older students are role models for the younger children. They assist at masses, guiding their younger charges and patiently helping them learn procedures, participate, and show reverence. Every seventh and eighth grader said please and thank you to the Café’ staff and volunteers as they were served lunch. (A parent volunteer noted this last week.) I held the door open for classes the other day as they were walking to church. Nearly every student said, “Good morning, Mrs. Bennett.” or “Thank you!” or “How are you?” This was unsolicited and genuine, not prompted by adults.
I hear students give each other encouragement and valuable feedback on class projects. From our youngest to our upperclassmen, they support one another and cheer each other on. Our first graders have dioramas displayed in the Primary hall and they keep complimenting each other’s creativity! A seventh grade English class gave thoughtful constructive criticism to each other so the characters of their projects would be even more enticing! Yes, it is commonplace in schools to develop character and have high expectations. At Our Lady, there is evidence of this. Our youth are fine examples of empathy, respect and responsibility on an affirming path-- thanks to the faith-filled environment they are in every day.
Dear Our Lady Students, Thank you for making me, your families, and our Lord and Savior proud. You will never outgrow genuine kindness, respect, good manners, or consideration for others.
Blessings to you,
Mary Ann Bennett