- Day School
- Parish School Religion (PSR)
- Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
- HR Youth Ministry
From the Principal’s Desk
HOLY HAPPENINGS AT HOLY REDEEMER SCHOOL
Advent is a beautiful season where we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. In this third week the theme is waiting. Here at Holy Redeemer School as we wait for the coming of Jesus we have several activities that we do to help our students understand this time in our Church year.
During this past week our Holy Families, which are mixed groups of students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, met and decorated gifts to take home. On these gifts, each student committed to four things they will do to serve the people in their family. These service activities will be our gift to Jesus. Also, our students in grades three through eight attended the sacrament of Penance which was our opportunity to confess those times when we did not do our best and commit to doing better.
In the classrooms I visited, I saw a great deal of evidence that the teachers are doing preparation activities with their students. In Preschool they have a bulletin board titled “We shine when we are kind” where the teachers acknowledge all of the kind acts they see happening daily. They are also reading books which discuss the real, true meaning of Christmas. During their religion discussions they focus on what we can do for others instead of focusing on what they want for Christmas. Of course, there are traditional Christmas crafts of Santas, gingerbread men and Christmas trees being made, and they are learning Christmas songs to sing at their upcoming Christmas party. In addition, this month they are celebrating the authors Kimberly and James Dean who have written the Pete, the Cat books.
As I entered the Pre-Kindergarten classroom they were singing Christmas carols and decorating their own Christmas tree. In addition, they are reading The Advent Story, and each day the Special Helper adds another piece to the manager scene so by Christmas the scene will be complete. They also have a Sparkle Box where they place a slip with a child’s name each time they “catch” them being kind. During their learning centers, the students were painting candy canes, building gingerbread houses and working with Mrs. Porterfield.
Next week I will share even more Advent/Christmas practices that I am seeing as I move through the building.
If you would like to learn more about our school or schedule a personal tour, please call the office at 962-8989. We will be hosting an Open House on Sunday, January 26, from 10-1pm. All are welcome.Read More
Holy Redeemer Parish School of Religion (grades 1-8) acts as a support for the students and families of the parish as they live out their Baptismal call and give witness to the Good News in word and deed. It is the desire of the program to incorporate the students and their families into the faith life of the parish community.
I do so many weddings that I barely notice anymore how emotional they can become. I am usually thinking four or five steps ahead so that everything in the ceremony goes flawlessly. (Yes, I am a control freak. Deal with it.) Last weekend, I did a wedding of the daughter of two of my friends, who also happens to be one of my favorite people in all the world. Her name is Haley. It was a joyous, wonderful occasion. But at one point, I almost lost it. And Fr. Kevin, the control freak, hates losing it.
In the petitions for Mass, which we now clumsily call Universal Prayer, the bride added a prayer for a friend of hers who was killed in a car accident in 2010 along a lonely stretch of Augusta Bottoms Road in October of their Junior year of high school. That petition caught me totally off guard. I had to fight back my tears. Ella was a bright and sunny young woman. Her accident was eerily like my own car accident two years prior in 2008: slipping off the road to the right, over- correcting to the left, tumbling down an embankment. Life is haphazard. I walked away without a scratch, she plunged into a pond and perished. During my thirty years at Borgia, four students died during their high school years. The first one was in 1990, a car crash took the life of lovely young woman named Christa Thompson. The second was a boating accident at the Lake of the Ozarks over the summer, another lovely young woman named Erin Pruneau. Last year, a troubled young man, named Jack took his own life. Each of those deaths were difficult and painful. Brutal reminders of how fragile and precious each individual’s life is.
But what made Ella’s death especially heartbreaking was the fact that her father, her aunt and her cousin were all on the faculty at Borgia. This was a tragedy that cut deeply into the fabric of what we liked to call our Borgia Family. It hurt, bad. Nevertheless, Ella’s funeral was an amazing celebration of her life and in our hope of the Resurrection. I had the honor to preach and I talked about the process of grieving and how it takes feeling, memory, trust and love. I ended my homily with a poem I found which used the analogy of a ship setting out to sea for the experience of death. It looks from our perspective that the ship, the loved one, is gone but then it concludes with this hopeful line:
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
That line is such a powerful reminder of our eternal destiny and how faith, hope and love are vital parts of our lives.