I know it’s not quite the middle of November but looking out my window it’s beginning to look a lot more like Christmas than Thanksgiving.
My students are a little confused about what type of outer wear to bring to school. It seems that one day they are outside having gym class in their shirt sleeves, and the next day we are watching the snow fall. Ah the joys of Ohio weather, not much consistency but a lot of variety.
November 1 was the Feast of All Saints. On this holy day Catholics celebrate and honor not only the “famous” saints like St. Peter and St. Paul, but all the saints in Heaven. In October, the junior high students researched various saints. At Mass on the holy day, the students dressed as the saints they researched and joined the entrance procession. After the Gospel, the “saints” introduced themselves and told a bit about their lives. Each saint greeted us in his or her language. We were greeted with shaloms and aves. We were even wished Guten Tag. The students did their research well.
I had a question answered that I have pondered for years. One of my favorite heavenly buddies is St. Anthony, the patron saint of people who lose things. He hears from me at least four or five times a week. He a great preacher, and I often wondered how such a great preacher ended up being the patron saint of scatter brains like me. Turns out he had a favorite prayer book that had been stolen. He prayed a long time to find it. Against the odds, he did retrieve his book.
On Nov. 6,the Board of Trustees sponsored Muffins with Mom. Students and their moms enjoyed muffins before school. Next month the board will sponsor Donuts with Dad. I’m still waiting for Tacos with Teachers.
We had some more special visitors on Nov. 6. Students from Sidney-Lehman High School performed for the staff and students. We were treated to vocal music by the mixed choir and the show choir, the Limelighters. After the vocal music, the band performed.
There was a rather interesting coincidence with their choice of music. One of the pieces sung was the Latin hymn, Dona Nobis Pacem. It is a beautiful song done as a round. My kindergarten through third grade music class also sings a version of it in a round. Our round is only in two parts, while the choir did theirs in four. I was sort of waiting for one of my students to challenge the high schoolers to a sing-off! Thankfully that didn’t happen although after the performance I heard some of my students and former students humming Dona Nobis Pacem in the hallway.
Parent-teacher conferences were held Nov. 7. The following day was a free day for both staff and student. That weekend the Rosary Altar Society held their annual Christmas Bazaar. On Saturday, volunteers from the K through 3 music class plus a fourth grader or two performed Christmas songs at the bazaar. Our group was a little bit smaller than anticipated as several of the children were sick with a stomach virus.
The school attended the Veterans’ Day ceremony held on Broadway. The weather forecast that day was not encouraging, sporadic rain and falling temperatures. In case of very inclement weather, we were going to have our own prayer service at school to honor the veterans.
Fortunately, the rain held off and we were able to go downtown and show our support for those who sacrificed for our country, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.
On Nov. 14, the kindergarten through fourth grades will travel to the Victoria Theater to see a children’s production of Lyle the Crocodile. This performance is part of the Discovery Series sponsored by the Victoria Theatre Association. The children always look forward to seeing the performances. Later in the year, the fifth through eighth graders will attend a performance at the Victoria Theater. On Nov. 15, Lisa Martin from Greenville National Bank will speak to the seventh- and eighth-graders about managing their personal finances. She will cover topics such as using a checking account.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. One of my favorite St. Mary’s traditions, is the annual Thanksgiving luncheon held the day before Thanksgiving. It is a Thanksgiving dinner and homecoming rolled in one. Among our honored guests are our former students who are now attending high school. The week before the luncheon the students will be busy preparing the meal, which wouldn’t be complete with out the first-graders’ handmade (and I do mean hand made) stuffing.
On behalf of the staff and students of St. Mary’s I’d like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.