A Joyful Noise

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A Joyful Noise

Corpus Christi’s eleven o’clock Mass on the last Sunday of Ordinary Time was noisy! Babies to the left of me, toddler’s to the right of me, a dissonance of cries and dropping toys somewhere behind me. And they were such beautiful sounds that I smiled throughout the Mass and watched some beautiful children doing what they do best, being who God made them to be.

Thinking back to when I was that Mom with noisy children at Mass, I’m pretty sure that I did not smile through the noise. Being older and wiser now, I want to assure these parents that they too, can smile through the revelry! We have no Church without children. We can all recall Jesus admonishing his apostles when they tried to keep the children from moving forward when Jesus was talking, saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”(Matthew 19:14)

Children make noise, they move and delight in what is around them. As the Processional hymn began a little one, barely old enough to stand on her own, began to blast out sounds that were surely singing in her mind. Her Mom, a CCCS alum and a beautiful singer herself, made a motion to quiet the little girl. And yes, I remember doing the same to my children years ago. This day I leaned toward her grandmother, smiled and said, “tell her to keep singing”!

She did continue ‘singing” here and there throughout the Mass. I could not help but notice two unrelated couples sitting in the same pew with this little girl. One a couple in their 40’s, another a couple in their 70’s. Throughout Mass they’d all take peaks at this Child of God and a smile would come to their faces, too!

And then all their faces really lit up when, upon returning to the pew after receiving the Eucharist, the little girl’s mom asked the one couple (40’s couple) if they would like to hold her. Which they gladly did and even shared their joy by passing her to the older couple.

Mass was an extra blessing for me on this last Sunday of Ordinary time! And I delight in the hope that many of these children that were making the joyous noise at Mass will one day have the opportunity to enroll at CCCS. Our school will certainly gain a chorus of beautiful souls if that happens!

Being There

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Last month I “happened” to be in the hallway near our primary classrooms. I noticed a first-grade girl, (I’ll call her Susie) making her way to the water fountain, crying. As I walked toward Susie, I saw her teacher making hand motions, calling me down to the classroom. When I got to the classroom, the teacher quickly told me that one of Susie’s friends had died last night and asked if I would please take her somewhere to talk.

It is without any doubt in my mind that God put me there at that exact moment. My name is Patty Dolaway and this is why I have worked at CCCS for the past 32 years. It is where I am supposed to be today.  It would be next to impossible to tell you the number of times that a faculty or staff member has been at the exact right place at the exact right time to “be there” for one of our students.

Susie, after some pretty heavy sobbing, was able to tell me that her friend who died is 5 years old. She had a chronic illness, but she died quickly and unexpectedly.

I happen to know that Susie’s grandfather died before she was born, so I was able to suggest that perhaps her grandfather could be her friend’s grandpa in Heaven. That did elicit a small smile and nod of her head. Her crying slowed down a bit and I suggested that she talk to her friend and her grandfather in her prayers and ask them to take care of each other.

About that time another teacher walked by and saw Susie’s distress and stopped to talk with her and share some loving thoughts. That is also what we do. We don’t walk away from sadness (or any emotion our students are having), we enter into it with them.

Taking care of each other is what we do at CCCS. Yes, we educate our students. In fact, we do that remarkably well. But it is in our relationship with our students, their families, and with each other that we grow in God’s love.

We try every day to model that often cliched saying, “What would Jesus do?” It is not a cliche at CCCS; it is the form and substance of what we do here every day. Do we fall short somedays? Of course, but we know that God will work with our imperfections to help us be the people our students need.

Our mission: To Know Jesus, to Love Jesus, and to Serve Jesus.

I hope that I can offer some small insights into what makes CCCS the right choice for our children.