April 26

We have all heard the phrase, a picture is worth 1,000 words. Last weekend, many of us saw that phrase given emotional life as our hearts broke at the image of 94 year old Queen Elizabeth II, sitting alone in church at the funeral mass of Prince Phillip, her husband of 73 years. A testament to strength, leadership, empowerment, and love, Queen Elizabeth showed each of us just what it means to be a leader and to choose to do the right thing, even under the hardest of circumstances. 

The United Kingdom is still under strict COVID-19 regulations and as such, only members of the same household could sit together. As such, the Queen sat alone in church, bidding a last farewell to her beloved husband, under the public eye—the same eye she’s been under since she assumed the throne in 1952 at the age of 25. To have lived from 1952 until 2021 in the constant view of the public, to have had her families lives splashed across news shows and tabloids, to have dealt with the death of Diana of Wales and to support her then young grandsons, all while being analyzed and commented upon and judged by some—that’s an incredibly difficult life. And, to be left alone with those memories and countless more heavy on her shoulders, as she mourned the one who was closest to her—the sorrow must be insurmountable.

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest lived and longest reigning British monarch. She is the longest serving female head of state in world history and the world’s oldest living monarch, longest reigning current monarch, and oldest and longest serving current head of state. Her grace, poise, dignity, respect for all, as well as her leadership skills, public persona, and love for the British people make her an incredible and empowering role model for young women across the globe. 

Perhaps that’s why, last Saturday, so many women wept for the Queen—because the images we saw showed us not just Queen Elizabeth II, Head of State, but Queen Elizabeth, mourning the love of her life, a widow at age 94, adhering strictly to the COVD-19 regulations put in place to protect her country and the world. It’s an image we won’t soon forget of a woman who will be a legend after her time.

God Save the Queen!

Ring Ceremony 2021

Good afternoon class of 2022 and welcome to your ring ceremony. You’ve waited a long, long time for this day and believe me, I know all about waiting for a ring! It seems endless and then, when you finally get it, you realize, it’s not the ring itself that’s important but rather the meaning behind the ring that matters most.

I have four rings on today; my own class ring from The Academy of Saint Aloysius, my engagement ring, my wedding ring, and close to my heart, my grandfather’s wedding ring. Each one of them carries a different and significant meaning and so too will the rings you receive and cherish throughout your life. In years to come, you’ll look at different rings you wear and each one of them will tell a story, just to you and it will call back a beloved memory. For me, having my grandfather’s wedding ring is especially important—not because it’s big or flashy or opulent, but because it was through my grandparents that I came to believe in “happily ever after.” You see, they were married on Valentine’s Day and were together for 55 years, until she passed away on Valentine’s Day. My grandfather never stopped missing her, and his ring reminds me of their beautiful love story that created our entire family.

My own engagement ring and wedding ring—well I’ll never be able to look at them without remembering the past year we all just went through. You see, I got engaged in December of 2019—when the world was still “pre-covid.” My husband proposed in Disneyworld, the day after Christmas and so, when I look at my engagement ring, it reminds me of excitement and happiness and joy. And then, came COVID and all the fun of wedding planning took a backseat to the harsh realities of the pandemic. My wedding ring will forever remind me of this unforgettable year, because I, like so many other women, had a private, COVID wedding. And so, every time I look at it, I’m reminded that what got us through all from March of 2020 until was love and support.

And as for this ring here on my right hand? Well, I got it just down the boulevard on a February morning in 1994. I still have it! I don’t wear it often, but I can remember when I wore it every single day. When I look at it now, I am reminded of the young girl I once was, just the age each of you are now, with my entire future in front of me. I had no idea it would lead me to the school just three blocks away and that I’d be here talking to each of you. I’m so very glad it did.

My point is this; today is not about a piece of jewelry, it’s about this time in your lives. Your entire future is ahead of you; you’re moving up to the role of upperclasswomen at SDA. You’re becoming leaders, the role models of the school and all too soon, your high school career will be at an end. The time between now and graduation flies by, ladies. And once you leave high school, you’ll be amazed at how quickly time moves from year to year. All I have to do is look at the ring on my right hand to recall the girl I once was—and I cannot believe it’s been almost 30 years since I’ve been that girl.

The 14 months you have between now and graduation from Saint Dominic Academy should be some of the best of your lives. Make beautiful memories, enjoy every moment, forge friendships that will still be strong 30 years from now. That’s what today is all about—it’s the first moment of the rest of your life as a young adult, your first footstep into the adult world. And, you’ll remember it always, I hope.

One final word of advice, if you do get a ring today, keep it for always. Between you and me, it’s the only thing I have from high school that still fits!!

Congratulations ladies on becoming upperclasswomen at Saint Dominic Academy. 

April 12

Welcome back and happy Spring, Saint Dominic Academy! I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable break and is ready for the final weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. Breaks are good, every now and then, we all need breaks and now we’re in the mindset to spring forth and make the end of the year successful.

I’m certain each of you had plans as to how you’d spend your time off and here at my house we each had plans as well. My plan, which I was able to fulfill, was to catch up on a few movies that I’d been meaning to see for some time now. As you know, I’m quite the film buff but I had just not found the time to sit down and watch these films—the first days of break I was determined to relax on the couch and press play on Netflix/Amazon. And, you know I love sharing what I learn, so here’s just a few nuggets of “important” lessons I gleaned from my few days binge watching.

  1. If you’re in a dark house and the lights flicker and the water in your glass turns to mud—get out of the house right away! ( The Vigil)
  2. Don’t ever go into a creepy old funhouse on an amusement pier, even if it’s a sunny day and it seems like a good idea. ( Us)
  3. Never, never answer the door when someone is pounding on it in the middle of the night or when someone is standing outside your home. ( Us & The Purge)
  4. If you tell a spooky story about a circus around a campfire at midnight and the next day, that circus shows up in your town…that’s NOT a good sign. ( Are You Afraid of the Dark?)
  5. If you hear a singing voice that nobody else hears, chances are it’s inside you calling you on your true path. ( Frozen 2)
  6. If something totally amazing happens to you in a Pixar film, it’s usually followed by something not so great happening in a Pixar film. ( Soul)
  7. If a creepy old book appears in your house, with no copyright and no author and it tells the story of a monster that comes to live in the closet—don’t read the book aloud. Just don’t. (The Babadook)
  8. If you made friends in college with a foreign exchange student and he/she invites you to come to some remote, only happens once every 90 years, secret from the outside world festival, chances are you will either wind up joining whatever creepy cult is hosting the festival or you’ll never be heard from again. (Midsommer) 

Important lessons, yes? Well, I’m thinking most, if not all of you, knew these lessons already. But of course, when thinking about these lessons it made me think of some more truly important lessons that are not always showcased on screens across America. And yet, the following lessons are the ones you need to carry with you throughout your lives, in order to grow into the empowered young women Saint Dominic Academy is teaching you to be.

  1. If it’s not true, DON’T say it.
  2. If it’s not KIND, don’t say it.
  3. If it’s hurtful, don’t post it.
  4. If it’s mean spirited, don’t comment or repost it.
  5. If it’s hate speech, don’t share it, don’t like it, don’t comment on it.
  6. If it’s a rumor, let it stop at your ears, instead of sharing it with your mouth.
  7. If it’s mocking someone’s race, religion, gender, appearance, culture, then it’s nothing you should be sharing, liking or posting.
  8. If you see a video, a meme, a post that you would not want your parents to see on your social media, DON’T post it.
  9. If you’re asked to do/say something that you know would not make your parents proud of you, don’t do it.
  10. If it’s: Kind, Generous, Sweet, Helpful to Others, Intelligent, Spiritual, Prayerful, Good Natured, or brings Joy to the life of another—then, by all means—spread that joy to as many lives as possible.

April 5

On Easter Sunday, and always

Let us remember that God gave us His greatest gift.

Let us remember that Jesus gave His life so that we could live eternally in Heaven.

Let us remember that love for humanity went hand in hand with sacrifice.

Let us offer a prayer of thanks for all that God has given us, and all that He will continue to give us daily…

Strength, hope, courage, joy, and the ability to follow 

Jesus’ teachings each and every day.

Have a beautiful Easter Season!