Archives for June 2011
We celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (or Corpus Christi). So, how would you explain the Eucharist to a group of 5th graders? To make it a little more challenging, what if your audience was Catholic and of other faith traditions? This was my situation when I journeyed to the Frances Xavier Warde School (FXW) a few weeks ago. I looked out at a “sea of green” as students proudly wore their FXW uniform shirts, and their faces painted a different picture as a kaleidoscope of ethnic backgrounds and cultures fi lled the room.
Whenever I am in a situation like this, a wise person once told me to fi nd something everyone can relate to, and then allow the connections to happen naturally. So, I invited all of the students to stand up and close their eyes. Imagine a birthday party… some of them looked at me like I was cyclops or alien… with that look on their face that says, “What does this have to do with the Eucharist?” I simply smiled and asked them to imagine their last birthday party, or the recent birthday party of a friend, and start to see, smell, and hear what was happening. Afterwards, I invited the students to sit down, and then I asked them what they envisioned.
A girl with blond hair said, “You get to have cake at a birthday!” I responded, “Yes, there is always something to eat, such as a cake and other foods, at a birthday party.” A dark haired boy with a big smile said, “You get to sing, ‘Happy Birthday’ to the person.” “That’s right,” I answered. “We get to sing a special song that celebrates the life of that person.” Another student—sitting with perfect posture—answered, “You are surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones.” “Great answer,” I said. “You are surrounded by a group of people who love you and who are thankful for your life.” A student with green eyes said, “You get to have juice and milk!” I responded, “Yes, we need that juice or milk to wash down all that good cake and other food at the party.” After a few more answers, we concluded this part of the lesson, and then I asked them the million-dollar question, “So, what does a birthday party have to do with the Eucharist?”
I knew this was a bit of a challenge for them to answer; however, waving hands on top of vertical arms were now in the air, so they started to vocalize their connections. One student commented that we sing songs at church, just like we sing at someone’s birthday. Another student mentioned going to church is a time when you are with your family, friends, and other people, which is like a birthday party. The next student said, “A birthday is the celebration of a person’s life, just like the Mass is a celebration of Jesus’ life.” For this student, I almost wanted to graduate her summa cum laude from 5th grade Theology! “We bring gifts to a birthday, and we bring up the gifts during the Mass,” was another comment. Finally, a student said we have bread and grape juice at Mass, just like we have cake and milk for a birthday. I said, “Yes, at both celebrations, there is a special food we eat as well as a special drink.”
We started to make more connections between a birthday party and the Eucharist, and I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with their answers. As we celebrate the solemnity of Corpus Christi, may we sing, may we continue to surround ourselves with friends, family, and community, may we partake in the many Eucharist tables in our lives, and may we celebrate the loving presence of our God who feeds us with His body and allows us to drink of His blood as we are nourished with God’s presence and love in the Eucharist.
Fr. Paul C. O’Connor, S.J., is Associate Pastor at Old St. Patrick’s Church.
St. Agatha’s Invites You to “Mass on the Boulevard”
Sunday July 10
Old St. Pat’s Sharing Parish Partner and North Lawndale Pentecost Initiative
Just a Thought…
Just like last week with Trinity Sunday, today is another one of those “idea” feasts that somewhere in our Catholic history (actually in 1246 under Pope Urban to be exact) Corpus Christi or The Body and Blood of Christ became a part of our Liturgical calendar. Corpus Christi, as it was fi rst known, was established as a way of highlighting and celebrating the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Characteristic of this unique Solemnity were the elaborate processions with the Eucharist that would take place on this day. I think the reason this “idea” feast was established was to somehow protect and strengthen both our understanding and our belief in what has become a central part of our Catholic life. In a time when perhaps there were questions, doubts, and confusion about what we actually believed with respect to the Real Presence in the Eucharist, what better way to reinforce one’s understanding than to create an elaborate procession and a more public display of Eucharistic devotion.
When I think about a “Eucharistic procession” or celebrating the Real Presence today, I think about the beautiful, exquisite ways we gather in this sacred place and celebrate with inspired energy and great devotion the Presence of Christ found in the meal we share, the Word we break open, the music we sing, the people who are around us, and when we are sent into the world to proclaim and live the mysteries of faith. When I think about the Body of Christ, I think about the many ways we experience the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus each and every day in our lives. When I think about the Body of Christ and what we celebrate at the altar, I think of how that is made manifest not only in the bread and wine made holy through our prayer, but I also think about the many other tables/altars where the reality of God’s presence is revealed in the stories of human life.
When I think about the Body of Christ, I just look to the past week as a way of being reminded of the beauty and challenge, the blessing and the brokenness of Presence in Holy Communion. As I gather at the Lord’s Table with you today, I think about the other tables where I found myself this week: In the home of Patty and David Kovacs with our mutual friend, Rabbi Chava, celebrating the grace-fi lled interreligious reality that is Old St. Pat’s; At a restaurant in Wicker Park with Kerry and Chris whose wedding I presided at last year and hearing the joys of married life and the struggles of being young professionals; At the home of some friends and looking across the table at the broken heart of my friend, a successful banker and bread-winner, yet out of work still for more than a year and a half; At the table with my parents in the home where I grew up, watching the effects of aging take its toll on failing bodies; At a hospital in Downers Grove with a grieving young couple experiencing the worst of brokenness in the death of their fi ve-month old baby who had been in the NICU since her January birth.
Yes, there is blessing and brokenness all around us and we walk into it every day. Today on this Solemn Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, we come to give thanks to the Risen One whose Presence is with us not only in the sacred meal we share, but also in the people and experiences we encounter as we are sent from this place into the reality of our world.
Enjoy the summer, IF it ever comes this year!
Fr. Tom Hurley
“Ooohhhhh… that must be how God feels…!”
I do not understand these moments, these experiences, these encounters. I do not earn these moments, these experiences, these encounters. I cannot predict when or how these moments, these experiences, these encounters will transpire. What I can say, with conviction, is that I trust these moments, these experiences, these encounters.
Every once in a while, in the wake of a particular moment, experience or encounter I find myself whispering… (you know, one of those whispers that indicates you intuitively know you are in the realm of wonder, awe, mystery; one of those whispers that implicitly communicates your desire not to “mess up” this moment, experience, encounter…) I find myself whispering:
“Oh, that must be how God feels…!”
A while back I had one of these moments, and as a result, I experience Father’s Day from a Different perspective; from a Delightful perspective; from a Wondrous perspective… from a Scandalous perspective.
While teaching and working in the ministry department at Loyola Academy, I had the untold privilege of facilitating a four-day retreat for seniors: The Kairos Retreat. Many of you have heard of it I suspect. It proved to be a poignant, transformative, grace-filled experience for many of the students who chose to risk the “soul adventure.” The poignance, transformation and grace also held sway for most of the adults who contributed to facilitating the retreat, as I can attest personally having “worked” on sixty or seventy of the retreats during my tenure at the Academy.
In anticipation of the Kairos retreat, parents are “encouraged” to write a letter of love/affirmation to their child. Some of you have authored these letters; some of you have received these letters — you are familiar with their tender and powerful capacity to mediate grace. During the course of the retreat, one of the parent’s letters of love/ affirmation is read aloud. Somewhere in the vicinity of 1:47 a.m., I was the privileged guy who got to read Angelo’s father’s letter to his son and his son’s Kairos comrades. Angelo’s dad’s letter read in part:
“Angelo, you are a gift to me. Like all true gifts, I don’t deserve you. You are too good to have come from me. I gaze upon you with wonder. Emotionally, in my heart I lay prostrate before God in humbleness, and thank Him for you. I love you as the dry soil loves the rain, as a cold man loves the fire. I love you as a father loves his son.”
Even as I read the letter, emotion and passion climbing up my chest cavity and expressing themselves in my quivering voice, I knew in the marrow of my bones that Angelo’s dad was on to something — I knew he had given voice and language to my own young experience of parenting — I knew my two young children were too good to have come from me; I knew I gazed upon them with wonder — I knew I could taste my desire to prostrate myself before God in humbleness and thank Him for my children, Ian and Clare — I knew I desperately wanted to love them as the dry soil loves the rain; as the cold man loves the fire.
So this gets us to the different, delightful and wondrous perspective of Father’s Day; but Scandalous? The scandal part was introduced when, after reading and rereading Angelo’s father’s letter once again, I had one of those moments, experiences, encounters:
“Oh, that must be how God feels…!”
Exploring the thesaurus around the word scandal produces words such as Outrageous and Shocking. Allowing myself to imagine — to really imagine — God, the Father part of God, declaring in reference to me:
“Terry, you are a gift to me. Like all true gifts, I don’t deserve you. You are too good to have come from me. I gaze upon you with wonder. Emotionally, in my heart I lay prostrate in humbleness, and give thanks for you. I love you as the dry soil loves the rain, as a cold man loves the fire. I love you as The Father loves his son.”
Outrageous and Shocking indeed! But I trust it and ask you — no, I beg you — to trust it as well. I beg you to trust that the Father part of God is declaring to you personally on this Father’s Day — “I love you as the dry soil loves the rain, as a cold man loves the fire.”
Happy Scandalous Father’s Day!
Terry Nelson-Johnson is Director of Adult Faith Formation at Old St. Patrick’s Church.
Just a Thought…
THANK YOU! I have to admit: I was a bit overwhelmed by so many of the responses I received (all extremely positive and supportive) for what I mentioned last weekend regarding the proposed Old St. Pat’s adventure into the life of North Lawndale. For those who may not have been with us last Sunday, let me explain.
Last Sunday we celebrated Pentecost, or what we have dubbed: the Feast of the Mission. Pentecost speaks of this reality that the Spirit breathes life into us when we are Gathered and in turn we are then Sent into the world to help transform it. Thus, after a few years of conversation and discernment, we have determined that the Old St. Pat’s statement of Mission is quite clear, and likewise very simple: Gathered and Sent. From now on, you will see those words quite often and I hope that sentiment captures the reality of the great church we are trying to create.
So what about North Lawndale? I mentioned last week in my post communion remarks that the Speaker Series during this past Lent, March 2011, captured the soul and imagination of many of us. We were profoundly blessed by Mike Pfleger, Avis Clendenen, Eboo Patel, and Fr. Greg Boyle. The speakers were amazingly powerful and no one wanted to leave their “talks” as just another nice speech. They challenged us, each in their own way, to some action. In particular, Fr. Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest who has worked with gangs and former gang members for most of his time in ministry, is a great inspiration and I am grateful that a packed church of 800 or so were able to hear him. One of Fr. Boyle’s impassioned pleas was centered around the idea of kinship. “It’s about the mutuality of kinship…. bridging any kind of distance that may separate us.”
One of my hopes is that Old St. Pat’s is not only known as a church that does “events” well, but most importantly I hope we are widely known as a church of “movement.” Our movement is one that should be about the mutuality of kinship; building relationships; transforming the world. North Lawndale is one of the most challenged areas in the city of Chicago and it is just about a mile away from Old St. Pat’s. Our hope is to build a relationship with the community of North Lawndale and to see what kind of movement we can create through partnerships, business development, and impactful contributions in the areas of education, health care, and overall spirit. That is the initial vision right now. Through conversations with community leaders and with your own insights into this “movement,” I am sure many things will change. Again, this is not about a one-time “service project” or simply partnering with some “agency.” We see this as the beginning of an ongoing relationship with a community. Stay tuned as more develops.
In the Spirit of being Gathered and Sent, have a Happy Father’s Day!
Fr. Tom Hurley
Pounding the Pavement at the Crossroads: Old St. Pat’s Church Marathon Charity Team is Signifi cant in So Many Ways! by Brian Lynch
I was overjoyed when I learned Old St Pat’s decided their next big activity would be to initiate a Chicago Marathon Charity Team. The folks on the Charity Team — the Crossroads Runners — are running for the community outreach mission of Old St. Pat’s and the Center for Social Concerns — a “building,” an effort, a spirit and a vision that so nobly has been a reflection of our Church’s identity for more than 10 years. Our mission and the Crossroads Runners are collectively committed to the philanthropic designation of eradicating poverty and homelessness through jobs and education. There are many Marathon Teams dedicated to “saving lives” through their training and dedication — the Crossroads Runners can be counted in the forefront of achieving these efforts.
The gallant effort of our runners serves as a benchmark of our community at the Crossroads, a vibrant group of fit, enthusiastic people supporting a long-term mission. The Old St. Pat’s community, as we know it today, was born by hard work, determination, and a triumphant commitment to community service. We think of people such as Father Dan Cantwell and Colleen Burns who founded the Community Outreach Group twenty-fi ve years ago as one of the ways to inspire our community to take the steps over a new starting line. In addition, leaders such as Father Jack Wall and Carolyn Peart, president of the Outreach Group for many years, designed and developed the community outreach program so it could be woven so brilliantly into the fabric of the Old St. Pat’s community.
Last year, I ran the half-marathon in New Orleans. It was a great experience, as I had not participated in a long-distance race in years. While we did not run through the exact neighborhoods that had been devastated by the hurricane, I did get the sense the streets we were pounding represented communities that had gone through so much and yet survived. I have participated in short distance races and two half -marathons, but never did the crowd participation in New Orleans mean so much to me. Their support, when I needed it like never before, made me more appreciative of this incredible “journey!”
I have marveled at the volunteerism at Old St. Pat’s that has supported the impoverished and homeless in their journey to a better life. I have realized that people’s steps across monumental thresholds really happen at the “crossroads” because of people who support them along the way. I have seen the “cheerleaders” every bit as moved by the inspiration of those they are supporting. And I have realized there are crossroads and obstacles we encounter where the self-determined finish line seems more meaningful. The people for whom the Crossroads Runners are working so hard to benefit have surpassed crossroads that are more powerful and fi nish lines that are more pronounced.
All of us can be inspired by the team of people who will be running in support of the community outreach programs and The Center for Social Concerns, namely to help respond to the needs of homelessness in our community. They will be pounding the pavement on the same streets as those they are supporting have survived through their own resiliency.
You too can help “pound” the pavement; however, you do not have to run 26.2 miles on Sunday, October 9, 2011 to be part of our team!
Recruit one runner BEFORE THE DEADLINE of THURSDAY, JUNE 30 to help fill our last few slots for our Chicago Marathon team — the Crossroads Runners. As the Chicago Marathon registration has offi cially closed to the public, only runners entering through a charity team can still register! Tell family members and friends they DO NOT have to be a member of Old St. Pat’s to participate. All new registered runners will need to raise the fundraising goal, and will receive all of the runner’s benefits and, most importantly, will be “fueled” by the energy of our mission to eradicate poverty and homelessness through education and employment.
To become part of our Crossroads Runners Team, as a runner or volunteer, please visit our website at oldstpats.org/marathon, or contact email@example.com. We thank you for your support.
Brian Lynch has been a member of the Old St. Pat’s community for more than 20 years. He is active in Special Events and is one of the leaders of the Crossroads Runners Charity Team Fundraising Committee.
Fifty days after Easter we come to the Feast of Pentecost. Sadly, in many Churches Pentecost has the feel of a second tier celebration.
“It’s the birthday of the Church!”
“That’s (yawn) nice.”
“Make sure to wear red!”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever.”
It Is Christmas and Easter that spark our religious imaginations, and not usually Pentecost. For Christmas and Easter we have created anticipatory Liturgical seasons, each with its own special rituals, music and practices. The church provides much to help us enter into the mysteries of Incarnation and Resurrection. Not so much for Pentecost.
In fact, some of our Church language refers to Pentecost as the “official close” of the Easter season. And if that is all we have to say, then Pentecost has been reduced, sadly, to the Labor Day of the Church year. You know what I mean. How much of our Labor Day celebrations are “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers?” More commonly, Labor Day has come to mark the end of summer. Close up the park district pool and put away the grill.
But we know the Pentecost story. Wind, fi re, the timid made bold, a message heard in every language; it is a story of spirit and mission. Pentecost is not and cannot be reduced to a second tier feast. Pentecost is so much more than the close of the Easter season. Pentecost is the Feast of Mission.
At Old St. Patrick’s, we want to celebrate Pentecost with energy, creativity, and a sense of mission. And as much as possible, we want to celebrate together.
Twice we have risked canceling our regular Sunday Mass schedule and chosen to gather as one assembly (will anybody come? and where is there room for 2700 of us?). In 2008, we gathered for a spirit/energy filled celebration of the Eucharist at the UIC Forum.
In 2010, we took our “Church at the Crossroads” identity literally and moved our Pentecost celebration to the streets as we celebrated the Eucharist at the crossroads of Adams and Des Plaines.
In 2009, Pentecost was celebrated at the altar table of Old St. Patrick’s and in the hearts and hands of nearly 500 volunteers who performed a one-day transformation of Su Casa Shelter. All this was done with energy, creativity, and a sense of mission.
The reason for this? At Old St. Patrick’s we want to be a people who recognize Pentecost as the Feast of Mission. Along with our Church, we set aside this day to remember and to recommit to the mission we all share as disciples of Christ, the mission we live each day, the mission to transform ourselves and the world.
These are lofty words, transform ourselves and our world, and lofty words are easy to dismiss. Maybe we need Pentecost to come along each year to remind us that lofty words and goals are not beyond us. Maybe we need Pentecost to come along each year because we have a tendency to return to the security of locked rooms. This Pentecost, let us welcome the wind and fl ame of Spirit and see where she takes us.
Gathered and Sent: Another Way to Say Mission
If Pentecost is the Feast of Mission, perhaps it can be the Feast of Mission Statements as well! For more than twenty-five years, we have described our mission as “to serve the life and work of the laity in the world.” These words, together with the complete statement of our mission, have served Old St. Patrick’s very well. As years pass, we sometimes look for new words, the words that might capture in a fresh way, the movement of Spirit in our Church.
Thoughtfully, prayerfully, and with great appreciation for the authors of our long-standing mission statement, we have begun the process of fi nding new words that might capture our sense of mission in the present moment.
The complete mission statement has not been written, but we believe we have captured the core message in the phrase, Old St. Patrick’s Church: Gathered and Sent.
For the coming year, we will use the Gathered and Sent language as our theme, just as this year we used Life Without Borders. Our hope is the phrase will not only provoke our thinking and lead to rich conversations about the many ways we are Gathered and Sent but at the same time provide wide access to the process of completing the writing of our new mission statement.
My parents have lived for more than 45 years in what I would consider a pretty modest home on the South Side of Chicago in the Morgan Park neighborhood. As far as I can tell, there is no talk of moving or selling. I am told it was in anticipation of my birth (being the 8th child) that an addition fi nally needed to be added. Over the years, as the nest has emptied out, there seems to be more room than I ever remember (there is no waiting for the bathroom and shower anymore!) and my parents have made some simple improvements. What baffl es me about my parents nowadays with respect to their home is the place where I fi nd them every time I visit: the kitchen. No matter that they now have free reign to their own castle without a bunch of raucous kids and despite a small investment in some comfortable furniture, they still choose to “camp out” in the kitchen. On one hand it might seem strange, but I am not surprised.
For as far back as I can remember, the kitchen has always been the gathering place for my family. It is the place where everyone automatically drifts when we enter the house. For whatever reason, the kitchen has been designated as the place to huddle, debate, counsel, challenge, argue, bargain, laugh, learn, connect, discipline, pray, plea, and of course eat! It is where I learned of the death of my sister and where we planned the funeral Liturgy for my brother. It is where books were spread out and grammar school science projects were created. It is where new girlfriends and boyfriends were introduced and “interrogated” by the siblings! It is where lots of “happy birthday” has been sung and candles on the cakes extinguished. The kitchen has become a sort of sanctuary for my family and my parents preside over it even still.
We GATHER in places that make sense to us. We gather where it feels most natural and comfortable. Today on this Solemn Day of Pentecost, you will hear some simple words that seem to capture the Mission of Old St. Patrick’s: Gathered and Sent. Gathering is so important to us. Whether it is actually here in the physical space of this historic church or gathered in some space and time and with those who share in this passion for great church, our sense of GATHERING in order to be nourished and fed by Spirit is essential to our identity. We need to gather and likewise, we need to be SENT!
I remember many times leaving that kitchen and being sent to my room, sent to school, sent to church, and sent to be with friends. Being SENT means taking the wisdom and the life-giving gifts of the GATHERING and going forth to make a difference. We need to gather and likewise we need to be sent.
Welcome today on this Pentecost to what we have designated as the Feast of the Mission. In the coming months, we will continue exploring and discerning what this Mission means for us at Old St. Pat’s. But like those fi rst disciples who gathered in that room, the gift of Spirit breathed a new life into them so that they might be sent forth into the world.
Breathe on us, O Spirit of God, as you gather us together and as you send us out to make your world a Holy place.
Fr. Tom Hurley
Taking our cue from the “Staff Recommends” shelf that many bookstores feature, we would like to share with you some titles that our staff plans to read this summer (when not engrossed in the latest books by Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, Scott Turow, etc.) Enjoy!
Why Stay Catholic?
Editor and publisher of more than two thousand books, Michael Leach pens his own surprising, inspiring, and timely answers to this life-changing question, giving readers plenty of reasons to celebrate the Catholic faith here and now. Leach highlights great Catholic organizations (check out Chapter 41 for his take on Old St. Pat’s!) that change the world.
Already There: Letting God Find You
Mark Mossa, S.J.
Geared toward young adults (twenty- and thirtysomethings) and/or anyone who fi nds theselves doing a bit of searching/discerning. This is a book that invites us to consider how God might be working in our lives right now — even (and perhaps most critically) in our messy-ness.
Marcus J. Borg
If being part of a religion means being able to speak and understand its language, Christianity is in crisis. Renowned Biblical scholar, Marcus Borg observes, “For many, Christianity has become an unfamiliar language. Even for those who think they speak ‘Christian’ fl uently, the faith is often misunderstood and distorted.”
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh brings to Christianity an appreciation of its beauty that could be conveyed only by an outsider. In lucid, meditative prose, he explores the crossroads of compassion and holiness at which the two traditions meet, and reawakens our understanding of both. Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most beloved Buddhist teachers in the West.
Tattoos on the Heart
Gregory Boyle, S.J.
Having spent more than twenty years working in the “gang capital of the world” where most people see only hate, violence, and fear; where, as he says, many would see only a “Who’s Who of Everybody Who Is A Nobody,” Fr. Boyle sees it differently. Through his work, he reminds us there are no lives that matter less than others.
This past March, Old St. Pat’s was pleased to host Fr. Greg Boyle as one of our Lenten Series speakers. More than 700 people filled the church to listen to Fr. Boyle’s poignant, inspiring, often humorous, and utterly heartening stories of the universal kinship we share with each other.
Just a Thought…
This is an exciting time for the Class of 2011! Congratulations to all of those who are completing various courses of study, from pre-school to Doctoral students! You did it and we are grateful to God for your accomplishments!
Many people continue to ask me about the Frances Xavier Warde School (FXW) on our campus and “how it works.” First of all, the School is not “just on our campus,” it is both an extension and a vital component to the overall mission of Old St. Patrick’s Church. This school, along with our very signifi cant Partners Religious Education Program, the Jewish/Catholic “Family School,” Horizons for Youth, and The Cara Program are outstanding expressions of the educational dimension of Old St. Pat’s.
Founded in 1989 by my predecessor Fr. Jack Wall and various others, the FXW School was the fi rst Catholic School to reopen in Chicago in 25 years! Those like Fr. Wall who dreamed of this school knew that opening a Catholic school in the traditional “parish model” approach was not going to work. What I mean by “parish model” is a school whose students are only Catholics living in the geographical boundaries of the parish itself. In 1989, that model would not have been successful or even possible here.
Our school started with 35 pre-school students using rented space in Presidential Towers, across the street from Old St. Pat’s. Throughout our 22-year history, this unique form of Catholic school now has more than 865 students on two campuses at Old St. Pat’s and Holy Name Cathedral under the name of “Frances Xavier Warde.”
Today, the Frances Xavier Warde School is indeed a unique model because unlike most parish schools, FXW is a free-standing Catholic school guided by a newly formed Association of Christian Faithful (ACF). The ACF was established by the Cardinal Archbishop last year and much like the Dominicans at Fenwick and Trinity, the Marist Brothers at Marist, the Jesuits at Loyola and St. Ignatius, the ACF is the “religious order” of the school that guides and sponsors the Catholic mission of FXW. To be a Catholic School in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council is to be a school that embraces the Ecumenical vision of the Council. Sister Frances embraced ALL kids and therefore the beautiful gift of FXW is the diversity refl ected in our school community. According to the original “charter” of FXW, 30 percent of our students are on some form of scholarship; which means they come from families who otherwise could not afford a Catholic education. We are a Catholic school that hosts a creative, wonderful experience of diversity in religion, culture, and socio-economic background.
With an enrollment of 865 and growing slightly next year, the FXW School is both popular and in-demand. It is a good model and I am proud of our affiliation with this school. “Doing” Catholic schools is trickier today than back in the 50’s and 60’s, but it is tremendously exciting and life giving. Thank you for all of your support to the Frances Xavier Warde School and especially to the annual Children At The Crossroads Scholarship appeal we make on behalf of the scholarship students.
We celebrated the graduation Mass and ceremony at Old St. Pat’s on Saturday, June 4 for the class of 2011. Please pray for all of our graduates and our faculty as we continue this important task of education and formation.
Have a great week,
Fr. Tom Hurley