Yesterday, our pre-Kindergarten students joined the rest of the student body at our Thursday School Mass for the very first time. Clinging tight to the hands of their 7th Grade “Buddies,” our littlest students tiptoed into the church and took their places in the right hand pews. After many practices of walking to the church, sitting quietly, kneeling, and rehearsing Mass responses, our EC4 students were more than ready to make their school Mass debut. Father Gary commented on the wonderful blessing of having our whole school together for worship, also commending the excellent participation of our 31 EC4 students. Perhaps even more remarkable, however, were the older students sitting in between them.
This Mass was the first opportunity for our 7th grade students to serve as leaders for their buddies and truly model expectations and behavior. They sat a little taller there, in between the EC4 students, and not just because of the heigh difference. A sense of maturity christened the eyes of our middle schoolers as they whispered praises and offered hugs to their young friends. The realization that they have grown to be the leaders of the school, the students to whom younger children look as an example.
The beauty of a Catholic School truly lays in it’s sense of community. With students ranging from ages 4 to 14, our school is a place where students spend their childhood. As our seventh grade students sat in Mass, they no doubt remembered their time in EC4 and how they cherished the attention and love they received from the older students. We are a community that not only knows the names of our students, but the details of their lives, and we pride ourselves on developing the growth of the whole child, mind, body, and spirit.