This past weekend I went out to Georgetown Prep for my husband’s 50th reunion. (Of course he’s much older than I am.) We sat at the dinner with an interesting group of people - a priest, an ophthalmologist and his wife, the widow of an attorney, and a nice gentleman who does some type of investing. Early in the conversation I discovered that all of them had attended Lourdes! That set off a whole round of Lourdes stories and names of teachers and friends with whom they had spent so many years. They soon moved on to stories of high school. As I listened I realized that even when they were talking about the Sister who locked one or two of them in the closet when they misbehaved or the coach who made them run around the track for hours on end, they spoke with love and affection. They expressed gratitude for the experiences they had and the people who had profoundly affected their lives. Their common experience of Catholic education in the 1950’s and the 1960’s was one of family. They told stories of knuckle raps with rulers and chalkboard erasers to the head, and they told them with a smile and a shake of the head. They wrapped up their storytelling with the same lines again and again - “We were a handful.” “How did those teachers do it?”
It’s harder today for us to create those common experiences for our children. People come and go in our Catholic schools. Parents are busy. Kids are signed up for all kinds of adult-supervised activities. Hardly anybody walks anywhere. There are no pick-up games at the parks. Parents aren’t comfortable letting their kids walk around Bethesda, let alone ride the bus downtown or go to the movies in Rockville.
The children of Lourdes today - those who spend most of their days here, and most of their years here - are still creating common experiences. They will tell stories of the times they snuck popsicles out of the freezer, climbed on the roof with Mr. Long, the classmate who said or did something really wacky, and about what the principal did when she found out. They will talk about helping little kids at the Book Fair, ski trips, the pumpkin patch, jumping off the playground equipment and riding in an ambulance. They will talk about the year a Sister in full habit taught them to sing, and they will repeat Mr. Long stories by the hundreds. They will talk about our morning assemblies and their soccer/basketball/dodgeball games. It’s our job to make sure that their stories are stories of family love and acceptance. It’s our job to make sure that they know that we - the grownups in their lives - believe that what’s happening here at Lourdes is important, and that it will help them become good men and women. I think that together - parents, staff, priests and faculty - we are doing a good job preparing them for what’s ahead while letting them be children who make mistakes, do some wacky stuff, and laugh at least 100 times a day. While we have to take our work seriously, let’s remember that they should be able to be the children in this family, making great memories that will one day make them miss these days and maybe even us!
“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” Clare
Dates to Remember:
8 Report Cards go home
Book Fair Open 7:30am-12:30 pm & 3-6:00 pm
9 12:10 Dismissal for Students
Parent Teacher Conferences 1:15 pm - 6:45 pm
Book Fair Open 7:30-9:30am & 12-6:30 pm
10 12:10 Dismissal for Students
Parent Teacher Conferences 1:15 pm - 5:45 pm
Book Fair Open 7:30-9:30 am & 12-4:30 pm
14 Make up Picture Day
15 HSA Board Meeting, 7pm
17 Mass at Noon
18 Shepherd Foundation Mass at Holy Redeemer, Kensington, 5:30, all recipients
should plan to attend.
22 Grandparents’ Day, 9 am
12:10 pm, Dismissal for Students, NO ASC
23-24 Thanksgiving Break
28 Open House, 9 - 11:30 am
1 First Friday Mass, 9:00 am
2 Breakfast with Santa, 8 am - 11:00 am
Winter Wonderland Concert, 2:45
Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.