At Little Flower School and Parish we talk a lot about the fact that we are a family…a family that watches out for one another. This past weekend we had two events which embodied the family spirit of Little Flower. On Friday night the Little Flower Gym was packed with people enjoying the third of six Lenten Fish Frys. On Saturday night the Little Flower Gym was packed for the Byron Pempek benefit fundraiser. Both nights represented what is special about Little Flower and the beauty of our School and Parish which is encapsulated in our slogan: Faith-Family-Fun.
What impressed me about both events is the generosity of so many volunteers…men, women, and children…working hard for awesome causes. Persons from all walks of life having fun, enjoying a meal together, a positive spirit among the members of the crowd, laughing, talking and playing. There is such a “feel good” aspect to all of it. It is not put on, it is not fake, it is real. People helping people for a positive cause.
It is not tool ate to get involved. It is so positive for our LFS students to be a part of those extras that our school has to offer like the Fish Frys…whether as a volunteer helper or as someone who goes with their mom, dad, aunt, uncle or grandparents. Taking part in these types of activities is good for the mind, body and soul. Together we thrive as a school and a parish. and, as always, we are so grateful for all the community members that attend our fundraisers and make them so special.
Two weeks ago I was interviewed by Channel 20, WMAY Radio, and by a reporter for the New York Times. All of the interviews involved the tragic school violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Some reporters wanted to know how parents should approach such serious topics with their children. Others wanted to know what safety procedures are in place and if students felt safe.
In preparation for these interviews, I spoke to each Little Flower Junior High class and asked them what they had learned about the Florida shooting and how did they feel about it. Almost all students had heard about it and, shockingly, several had seen actual footage of the carnage on Snapchat and Instagram. Our children are exposed to more than we know sometimes. Reactions ranged from sadness and fear to apathy and desensitization.
Here is where the Catholic Education advantage becomes a reality. In a society where a tragic incident like this becomes a forum for gun control debate and finger pointing, at Little Flower we are able to do something meaningful, valuable, and wonderful. We are able to pray…for the persons whose lives were cut short that day, for their grief stricken families, for the faculty and staff of the high school and for the community of Lakeland, Florida. Little Flower School is a family and when someone is in need of prayerful support, we are there in love and spirit doing our part to make the world a better place. That is what Catholic Education is all about.