“Our Lady of Assumption Pray For Us”. Every day my children said these faithful words at the close of their school’s morning prayer. I love this school and three of my children are Our Lady of Assumption Catholic School (OLA) Saints. And yes, the recent closing of the school is difficult for the entire parish, but I have realized just how blessed we are to be a part of the family of El Paso Catholic Schools. During this transition, our neighboring Catholic schools reached out with love in many ways. Besides offering tours to help our children get placed and providing families with informational collateral in weekly folders, they offered support to our Pastor, Father Saul Pacheco.
Father Pacheco is working diligently to guide his community as best as he can Shepherd us beyond our wants and beyond our fears. Thank you, Father Pacheco!
The kindest gesture of support for my children came from clear across town from Our Lady of the Valley. OLV came to OLA for a visit. They came with gifts like the three wise men we know. They brought pictures of Pope Francis attached to Mounds candy bars for everyone, letting each OLA student know they were sending us Mounds of Love & Support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Our Lady of the Valley!
I am grateful that we can pray in our schools and we can offer each other prayer as support, unlike in secular schools. El Paso’s community of Catholic schools demonstrates our love for Jesus Christ and His great love for every single one of us.
Most recently I was told by Bishop’s Liason to Youth Ministry and Pastor of Buen Pastor Catholic Church, Father Fabian Marquez, that Pope Francis reminds us that our Catholic youth now are representative of who the Catholic Church is today. They are not just our future church. My children, all the children at OLA and all our children at El Paso Catholic Schools are truly representative of our Catholic Church and what we are living today in Gospel values.
With the recent headlines of kids being bullied to the point they commit suicide I am reminded that we are all facing the horrifying truth that our families and children are being targeted. We are living through a bullying crisis targeting America’s youth and our schools. This is a crisis that sometimes results in suicide and violence against others. I am witnessing how we are becoming a less civil society and frankly it can be scary parenting in these times.
My husband and I make the decision to send our children to a Catholic school and so many times I personally witness the children at these schools demonstrate love and kindness in the most remarkable ways. At the core of my children’s existence they know that every human being is a person and is a direct reflection of God’s image. They know and believe that every person’s life and dignity is something we must protect. I am proud to say and so grateful that this social teaching is part of my children’s moral fabric. It is also a vibrant representation of the fruit reaped from the work done at Our Lady of Assumption and the work being done at our El Paso Catholic Schools. OLA enabled me to raise amazing young citizens with Catholic moral identities and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Our Lady of Assumption!
This past weekend my kids and I watched PBS Nature’s episode, Animal Misfits, and it featured the Artic woolly bear caterpillar moth. In the woolly bear’s life cycle while in the caterpillar stage, this creature eats and waits for its chance to cocoon and become a moth. But to become a moth it must survive several winter seasons, sometimes up to fourteen winter seasons. This caterpillar literally freezes to death every winter. For several winters this animal falls into a deep freeze where his heart stops beating and his blood freezes solid. Like the story of the thawed secret agent, Austin Powers or Transformer’s evil antagonist, Megatron, each summer the woolly bear caterpillar thaws and resurrects. After being frozen for months it thaws and comes back to life!
My children were so impressed that this caterpillar was like Jesus. This is one of the most amazing things allowed by God. The woolly bear demonstrates for me the grace and power that is our Lord. This is how we as a Catholic community of schools of faith go through difficult changes in order to begin anew. Regardless of the challenge, we rise and give Glory to God.