The Sunday Gospel this week teaches us about the virtue of humility. From the first moments I started at St. John, I have found a community of humble servants willing to help one another. Acknowledgment or appreciation is not needed as these acts are moments of service. Being a part of a true community of believers willing to selflessly help makes serving the St. John community and Jackson area a true blessing.
In my short few months here I have been blown away by the helpers. There is a plethora of people eager to serve the parish and the school. Some of these helpers I have met like Kathy Kryst and Beth Thorrez who are working to bring adoration back into the school after our pause with COVID. Mike and Chris Olds can be found doing a little bit of everything from leading our Grandparents Club to helping change filters in our air purifiers. Gina Borrelli, Hannah Scott, Molly Long, and our new Director of Family Discipleship, Kathy Blanchard, are beginning Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training to bring a level I Atrium to our school allowing our young students to become immersed in their faith in a new and intimate way. I also want to continue the gratitude for all our donors who helped make our new play structure possible. The students had a great time climbing and exploring at Back to School Night and on our first day of school. Stephanie Dobbins spent time priming and painting our play structures to keep them safe for years to come so all can enjoy. And these are just some of the many people working on the mission to spread His love, doing it all without asking for credit.
As we begin this year, St. John School begins the year focused on the Psalms. “Psalms for Young Children” by Marie Helene Deval takes many of the Psalms and illustrates and rewrites the words so the language is true to the word but understandable by our youngest students. We focus on our faith, intercessions, and praises of thanksgiving. Each week we will focus on these words from David, Solomon, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and many other authors as we strive to build our faith, ask God for his blessings, and exalt and praise Him.
In that tradition I would love to share some of the blessings I have witnessed at St. John since I joined this community. First, I was blown away by the welcome I received from the parish my first few weekends. From grandparents, families with students in the school, to alumni, and parishioners, you all were so friendly often being the first to say are you the new principal followed by your warm welcome. It made being part of the St. John parish family feel like home immediately. You are true witnesses. I am incredibly grateful to our school families. Their offers of help have been examples of the service I have seen time and time again here. The staff is an incredible blessing. Their fortitude and prudence have made this transition between the new administration so easy. They are the rock of this school because they truly believe they are on a mission living out a vocation called by Christ. Our former principal, Kristi Blair, continues to be an amazing blessing. She has been lifting the staff and school in prayer. Mrs. Blair has been helping explain and advise. This is her parish and school family. Without need for recognition, she is humbly still serving to this day. I am incredibly grateful for Fr. Chas as he continues to be a champion for the school. He is making sure the staff has access to formation and lifting us in prayer through many actions. Before school began, the staff was graced by a blessing of the school, from the classrooms to the chapel. On the first day of school, Fr. Chas visited each of our classrooms to bless the classroom and each child. I am grateful for his intercessions lifting our school community up.
I also want to thank several of our parents who began work over the summer for our annual Draw Down Raffle. We thank the entire St. John community for their support over the years. More information will be coming soon but save the date now for October 1, 2022. You can also purchase a ticket by visiting https://tinyurl.com/8v9hmxac .
Please join me in prayer this year for our students, families, staff, and everyone a part of the St. John School community. We are off to a great start because of the blessings and humble work of this parish family!