Sigmund Feud once wrote, “The mind is an iceberg—it floats with only one-seventh of its bulk above water. At St. Mary’s we often use the iceberg as a metaphor. It is so visual and helps us to understand the richness of our Catholic Identity. Above the water are things visible: out students, classrooms, teachers, curriculum, etc. Below the surface is our foundation…Our Catholic Identity.
Our Catholic Identity is expressed in so many ways at school by our students and staff. We have made a commitment to “Do the right thing, and treat people right.” One day, I was in the hall when a second grader was packing up to go to the dentist. A classmate walked by and said, “Hey don’t forget to represent.” I asked the child what this meant. He explained, “My friend is going out into the world and will have an opportunity to represent Christ.” Below the surface is our foundation…Our Catholic Identity.
Our Priest, Father David Zimmerman is such a servant leader. He guides our church and school with much love and intellect. He teaches us how to add oil “love” to stressful situations and to always be humble. Our parish makes this easy by modeling for us daily what it means to sacrifice. Because of their generosity, we are allowed to focus on our mission of bringing Christ to others. Below the surfaces is our foundation…Our Catholic Identity.
Recently, we had a playground mishap where two preschoolers collided. One student was unhurt, but the other had to go to the hospital. After the doctor’s examination, he felt a head scan was necessary. The child had been so brave but this news had been the breaking point. He was very apprehensive about the scan and the parents were having difficulty calming him down. The mother turned to the boy and said, “Can I pray with you?” The child nodded and became instantly at peace and was able to complete the procedure. Below the surface is our foundation…Our Catholic Identity.
Some time ago, one of our students discovered he had a brain tumor. He received the bad news that it was now vital to have the tumor removed. The day of the operation, our students and parishioners were in the Church praying the Rosary. The parish and school rejoiced when he returned to school two short weeks later! Below the surface is our foundation…Our Catholic Identity.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki teaches us that if we acknowledge good, we must also acknowledge evil. St Mary’s School internally is doing great. Sometimes negativity from the outside tries to get us off track from our mission. After sharing this with one of our Parishioners, she advised us to recite the St. Michael’s prayer. We found a CD that had the St. Michael’s prayer put to music and we began our school day by reciting this prayer. Ironically, two weeks later, Bishop Paprocki encouraged the St. Michael’s prayer to be recited at the close of Mass. Below the surface is our foundation…Our Catholic Identity.
This past year, a teacher shared with me that her students lacked focus, were restless, and were having difficulty getting along. She shared with me that they decided to kick the devil out of their classroom. She began by calling all the students into a community circle. She discussed how saddened she was by the atmosphere in the classroom. She attributed this to the devil being in their classroom and keeping them off task. The students were unsure what to do but decided that it was time to kick the devil out of the classroom. The students stood up and literally began kicking all the way to the school exit. The teacher said she could not believe the impact this had on her classroom setting. At St. Mary’s, we have given the students the courage to acknowledge these “evil spirits who roam throughout the world seeking ruin of souls.” Below the surface is our foundation…Our Catholic Identity