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.

Tricks of the Trade…

Those of us in the education “game” know well that there is more to teaching than just the three R’s. (reading, writing, rithmatic…as the old rhyme goes!) For those of us who teach to truly motivate and inspire the young minds gathered before us each day, we have to do way more than merely quote Shakespeare or recite the periodic table or place the Pythagorean theorem on the chalkboard. (Do we even have chalkboards these days?!) It’s no longer enough to know what the green light on Gatsby’s dock symbolizes, or who won the Battle of Yorktown, or the theory that early birds were descended perhaps from dinosaurs. Knowledge is, of course a gift that we who teach have, but our job is not only to turnkey that knowledge over to our students, but rather lead them toward the vast connections that can be made both across a genre of study and inspire them to want to learn more about a myriad of given subjects.

Within the walls of private education, we have been given a gift- the gift of NOT having to “teach to the test.” I know for certain that the men and women teaching in the classrooms here at Saint Dominic Academy are gifted educators, grateful for the opportunity to make their daily lessons and yearly curriculums active, engaging and most of all interesting to the young ladies sitting before them. I am in awe of what I see in our classrooms during the year: an Escape Room based upon A Midsummer Night’s Dream!, a crime scene worthy of CSI set up in ELAN!, robots that walk across the science labs! Cross curricular hikes between English and Science class! Connections between classic novels and contemporary music! Day of the Dead altars in Spanish Honors! Trips to French restaurants where only French can be spoken! The list goes on and on…seemingly endless in its creativity, its desire to tap into the minds of the students, to attune them not only to the lessons found between the pages of a text, but rather, the connections those lessons have to the larger world around them. 

I applaud the teachers at Saint Dominic Academy; their bold and engaging classes, their embrace of the unconventional teaching methods, their desire to have students truly develop a love for learning and an appreciation for every subject they are exposed to during their years of 7th -12th grade. Our young ladies are being given more than just a paper and pen education when they come to SDA; they are being given a thought provoking and creative educational experience- one that they will never forget and one that will serve them well all the days of their lives.

Cheers to the faculty and staff at SDA! May their creative juices never run dry and may their classrooms always be filled with energy, excitement and engaging lessons. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all you do for our students!

The Eve of the Ring Ceremony…

Tomorrow night, the members of the class of 2021 will officially become upper class women at Saint Dominic Academy. They will gather at Saint Aloysius church and prepare to receive the school ring, a symbol of their “official” transition. It is an exciting event for our juniors; coupled with their Ring Dance which will be held on November 7th– just a few short weeks away. Today, as they reflect on their past two years here at Saint Dominic Academy and look forward to what the future holds for them, beginning tomorrow night, all of us here at the school will keep the young ladies of the junior class in our prayers. It’s a big step- the beginning of the end of high school. 

Tomorrow night, I will use my brief remarks to encourage the girls to use the rest of their time with us at SDA wisely, and then, go forth and change the world for the better. After all, although it seems impossible, the members of the class of 2021 only have about 19 months before it is time for them to head to Saint Aedan’s Church to graduate from high school. 

In reflecting on what I want to say to these young women, I did a bit of thinking about the symbol of the ring in regard to the ring ceremony. Rings…very important things, are they not? These little circles. We all wear at least one, at one time or another, right? However is the ring ceremony event really about the ring inside the box? Or is it about something more…something that the circle represents? That eternal circle, no beginning, no ending, unbreakable…a circle that can never be destroyed. 

The true meaning of the Saint Dominic Academy Ring Ceremony is not for the young ladies to go home with a new piece of jewelry. Rather it is for all of them to move forward as upper class women at Saint Dominic Academy, after two years of forging friendships, of getting to know each other, of having ups and downs, petty disagreements, moments of angst, joys and tears, to finally reach that moment of maturity where their circle is fully forged…unbreakable…no beginning, no ending…just the bond of the class of 2021- the memories already created and the ones they will create over the next 19 months. 

That’s what the Ring Ceremony really about; the substance behind the symbol; the event is not about the ring, but about all the ring represents- it’s this class’s own unbreakable bond of sisterhood, a sisterhood that has been rooted in the Catholic Dominican tradition for 141 years, a sisterhood that will live on in their hearts long after the class of 2021 leaves Saint Dominic Academy. That’s the purpose- for these young ladies to forge that circle together and after the ceremony ends, that circle can never ever be broken or destroyed. I know you will join me in welcoming the class of 2021 into the role of upper class women at Saint Dominic Academy and commend each of them on the lasting bond of friendship they have forged with each other.

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