Thoughts About Hairspray!

this past weekend, Saint Dominic Academy was delighted to present the musical Hairspray! onstage in ELAN. I was asked to write a few words for the program, and today, I share them with you…

It’s all about dreams…isn’t it? For all the young men and women who have worked so hard on our production of Hairspray!, it’s their dream to sing and dance onstage and tonight in front of your eyes, their dream will come true. It’s fitting that this particular show we’ve chosen is being performed on this particular weekend; one where we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King gave his life to see his dream fulfilled and who among us can hear the words “ I have a dream..,” without remembering this remarkable man and how his dream changed the future for millions of Americans for generations to come.

Make no mistake, although our show is lighthearted and peppy, our lead character, Miss Tracy Turnblad, shares the same dream that Dr. King had– the dream to integrate, to see people united instead of divided. Just has he had a dream, so too does Tracy and she learns early on in our show that you’ve “gotta think big to be big” when it comes to making ones dream a reality. As you watch this story unfold, you’ll soon see the connections between our story set in Baltimore and the overarching dream that Dr. King had for America. 

Tonight, and every night and day, those who want to sing together, to dance together, to play together, to work to make the world a happier and better place together…can always do so. Look at the world—so full of beautiful people from all walks of life—and see how each of us can truly work to make the world a happier and better place. 

This cast has brought a smile to my face every day at rehearsal and I am so proud of all they have accomplished! I know they will continue to hold tight to their dreams for years to come. Thank you for supporting them.

Respect for Catholic Education …

Catholic school is a tradition, a way of life, a path that many of us were raised on and that we continue to have our children follow to this very day. It should then come as no surprise how shocked and saddened I was when I learned that Marist High School will close in June. A Hudson County icon, and a visible presence of Catholic Education for all who enter our county via the well traveled NJ Turnpike, it is sad to see their doors planning to be shuttered for good. More and more, this is the path for many Catholic schools, and it is a path that none should ever have to take. 

The goal of all Catholic schools, elementary or high, co-ed or single sex is to provide a faith filled educational foundation for students. One needs only to look at the mission statements of schools in Hudson County, and regardless of whether they were founded by the Dominicans, the Jesuits, the Marist Brothers, the De La Salle Brothers or another religious community, the purpose is shared. 

We at Saint Dominic Academy have a place for all the young women of Marist High School who are seeking an education in the Catholic tradition. Our thoughts and prayers are with their student body as they seek to transition to a new environment and we will welcome with open hearts the traditions of Marist High School that are brought to Saint Dominic Academy by any transfer students who will join our population next year.

In the time between then and now, we will keep the students, parents, alumni and faculty of Marist High School in our daily prayers and intentions. Finding a new “home” is never an easy task to undertake, and leaving what is familiar and those who are friends of the heart for a new and strange place is one of the hardest challenges each of us may ever face in life.  It is even harder when it is a transition not fueled by personal choice. To that end, we at Saint Dominic Academy will work tirelessly to ensure that the needs of the young women currently attending Marist High School will be met, should they choose to make their transition here to Saint Dominic Academy. 

Today, more than ever, let us remember to continue to support Catholic education-because the support directly impacts the students who seek a home in our buildings each and every day.

Prayers for the Marist community.

Christmas Reflection #3

During December, the Head of School’s Blog will be a series of reflections on the meaning of Christmas. All reflections have been composed by the Head of School in previous  years during the Christmas season. It is my sincere hope that these reflections will bring tidings of comfort and joy to you and your loved ones throughout the month of December.

Parent voices hushed…whispers mingled with coffee scented air 

On  a long ago early  Christmas morning.

A table laid with blue and white china,

Crisp cream napkins and brand new dresses

For  Christmas dinner with beloved grandparents.

Tiny footsteps pitter pattering down halls,

The joyful exclamation of a toddler’s voice…

“Daddy, Santa was here!”

A delighted girlish giggle at the sight of a toy kitchen,

a baby doll, a trip of her dreams with Mommy

wrapped in candy colored paper under the candy cane tree.

These memories, recalled with a smile…

And at times with glassy eyes…hidden but for the reflection captured by tree lights

Are what sustain us as we grow older and 

Our children’s childhoods, our cherished family members,

Fade to memory.

As time passes, more and more swiftly from Christmas to Christmas,

We find love, we find joy, 

And always in our hearts our pasts live on, with God’s sustaining love.

Originally written in 2019

Christmas Reflection #2

During December, the Head of School’s Blog will be a series of reflections on the meaning of Christmas. All reflections have been composed by the Head of School in previous  years during the Christmas season. It is my sincere hope that these reflections will bring tidings of comfort and joy to you and your loved ones throughout the month of December.

Seek magic,

In the twinkling of lights,

In the cold rush of snowflakes,

In the purple twilight of

Winter’s Eves.

Seek magic,

In the sparkle of Santa’s eye

In the anticipation that lights a little one’s face,

In the joy of church bells pealing.

Most  of all,

Seek magic

In your hearts.

There you will find HIM, at Christmas and always. 

Originally written in 2016

Christmas Reflection #1

During December, the Head of School’s Blog will be a series of reflections on the meaning of Christmas. All reflections have been composed by the Head of School in previous  years during the Christmas season. It is my sincere hope that these reflections will bring tidings of comfort and joy to you and your loved ones throughout the month of December.

In stages, it approaches…

Reflecting on thanks,

We turn shining eyes to December,

And welcome Advent.

Wide eyed with wonder,

Transformation begins,

And Christmas beauty emerges.

Our homes, our minds, our faces, our hearts,

Begin to prepare for HIS presence.

We awaken our Christmas selves

And emerge,

Transformed by God.

Together, let us celebrate the beauty that is Christmas! 

Originally written in 2016

Giving Tuesday…Support SDA!

It’s finally here…the much anticipated “most wonderful time of the year!” December is upon us and with it comes all of the joys of Christmas. From Advent calendars to candlelit windows, purple sunsets catching the glow of lights, pine and evergreen trees decorated with cherished family ornaments, the sound of carols on the radio and church choirs rehearsing for Midnight Mass…all of the love and festive spirit truly surrounds us for this month, wrapping us in the embrace of the joy of the birth of Christ.

How many of us, while we do enjoy the holiday cheer, have had to run out to buy “one last thing”, at least a dozen times? How many of us have run out of tape, of labels, of stamps for Christmas cards, of wrapping paper for that one oversized gift, and instead of feeling happy about the holidays, what we feel is frustration for a moment or two. With so much going on in just 25 short days, each of us is bound to forget something…that’s the nature of Christmas gift giving. Oh, we’ll throw on our coats and grumble a bit and run back to the store, and although the errand frustrates us, all of that is forgotten when the sun rises on Christmas morning. 

Today, let me take on the role of one of Santa’s “elves” and remind you about one very special gift you can make- from the comfort of your home. No wrapping paper needed, no tape, no label- just you and your phone or laptop or any tech device you choose. This gift, which will only take a moment to give, will benefit not one special person, but over 200 dedicated, hardworking young women who are pursuing their dreams right this very minute. 

December 3 is Giving Tuesday and there is no better gift you can make than a gift to Saint Dominic Academy. Your donation fuels dreams, motivates the leaders of tomorrow, inspires girls to achieve their goals…what better gift could you give than a gift that ensures a bright future for a young lady determined to succeed? As we all know, when it comes to gift giving, its not the size that matters but the fact that the gift comes from the heart. We at SDA would welcome your gift this Giving Tuesday…any and all donations to our school will help change the lives of our students, both this year, and far into the future.

Now is the time to support your SDA family! Now is the time to give! Please, take one moment at the start of this holiday season and make a donation to Saint Dominic Academy. You will have the thanks and love of over 200 young women who are most deserving and grateful.

Happy December!

Veteran’s Day Prayer

The Head of School asks for prayers for the loss of her grandfather, Nicholas Carmen Fargo- a veteran of World War II. We pray for him and all the veterans who have gone before him, today, on Veteran’s Day.

Dear Lord,

Today we honor our veterans, worthy men and women who gave their best when they were called upon to serve and protect their country.

We pray that you will bless them for their unselfish service in the continual struggle to preserve our freedoms, our safety, and our country’s heritage, for all of us.

Bless them abundantly for the hardships they faced, for the sacrifices they made for their many different contributions to America’s victories over tyranny and oppression.

We respect them, we thank them, we honor them, we are proud of them. We pray that you will watch over these special people and bless them with peace and happiness.

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