Catholic Schools Week (Part 4)
On the last day, all the kids again wore jeans and their Catholic Schools Week t-shirts. In the morning the assembly started with Father Jirak enthusiastically announcing to the students which classes won the In Our Sister Shoes program. For weeks the kids were encouraged to make donations to In Our Sister’s Shoes. The fund intends to supplement the resources of schools in disadvantaged parishes. The kids had broken previous records with over $4,000 to give. The crowd of kids was wild with the news. To reward their generosity, Father Jirak offered them the choice of a no-homework day or another jeans day.
The kids’ response reminded me of Jesus in front of Pontius pilate. Just like when the crowd in front of Pontious Pilate shouted in unison, “Barbabus, Barbarusde”, the students chanted, “no-homework day,” “no-homework, day”.
Next was a competition between Father Max and the 7th graders. Our pastor was the MC. He calls Father Max the Google for anything having to do with the Church or history. Father Max got to ask the 7th graders a question about religion and then the 7th graders got to ask Father Max a question about pop culture. There was a roar of laughter when Father Max was asked who the female artist of the year was and he answered, “Britney Spears”. Father Jirak discreetly slipped away at the end of the competition.
Then the 8th graders had a volleyball match against the teachers. I thought I was in a Roman Coliseum or maybe a rowdy NFL game. The kids were completely into the game, chanting and stomping. I was impressed how well our Principal, Mr. Dester, was able to control the almost uncontrollable crowd just by lifting his arm and requesting the kids be quiet.
Then Father Jirak reappeared in his volleyball clothes and wearing a long black wig and a headband. He ran around the parameter of the gym like a yell leader firing up the kids.
Okay, I know, not very many pastors are like that. Well, actually no other pastor is like that.
What struck me about the whole thing is that from the top down to the priests–the principal, the ladies organizing, the volunteers–everyone gave their everything. It reminded me of the principle Blessed Pope John Paul II talked about with marriage of giving the “total gift of self”.
Father Jirak and the rest care so much that they would give anything to help our young people be on fire for their Catholic faith, including running around the gym in a long black wig.
Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Give 100% to everything you do today and do it for God’s glory.
What a wonderful way for these youth to learn the value giving your all! Thanks for sharing this story!
Dr. Lynn K. Jones, Certified Personal and Executive Coach
Thanks, Lynn. Generosity sure encourages more generosity.