Encourage the Storm!

Morning Prayer: Encourage the Storm
August 2013
Patrick ’14

This summer I spent a week at a camp at the University of Notre Dame called ND Vision.  The week was focused on answering God’s call in our lives.  One of the first nights of camp, there was a speaker who was talking about truly opening your heart to God.  As he spoke, he used a phrase that has stuck with me long after I left.  He compared God’s love to a hurricane and said the key was to “encourage the storm”.  He went on to explain that this means allowing God to tear up everything that we think we can control in our lives.  Now being a Marist student, giving up control seems like the scariest of prospects.  It is so much more comfortable to keep God in those neat little boxes where I can reach him when I need to, but my life can go on without change.  What I have realized is that although living seems so much simpler, it is really a barrier standing between us and God.  God’s love is not organization; it is beautiful chaos.  “Embracing the storm” is about letting go and allowing God to rip away everything separating us no matter how scary it may seem.  It means ignoring the screaming voices worrying inside your head and allowing that whisper in your heart to be the guide.

Let us pray-

Dear Lord,

Help us to embrace the storm in our lives today.  Help us let go of our fears, desires, and burdens and be swept away by your love.  Grant us the trust to give up control and instead rely on faith.

Mary, seat of wisdom, Pray for us.


A Person’s a Person No Matter How Small

Morning Prayer: A Person’s a Person no Matter how Small
Respect Life Week – October 9, 2013
Prayer by Joanna ’15 and Hilary ’15:

A poem by Laura Graham Fetters:

Plain or pretty
Skinny or Fat
A person’s a person
I like it like that.

And if you speak funny
Like some of us do..
Guess what? You’re a person!
Oh my yes. It’s true.

Are you somewhat nutty?
A bit off your rocker?
You still count my dear friend
(I know it’s a shocker!)

If you have some limbs
That don’t work so well,
You’re 100 percent people..
This fact I do tell.

Do you like to eat liver?
(Though I think it’s gross).
That still makes you human
And to you I toast!

Your brain may be slow
or yet, fast it may be
But the fact still is this-
You suit God to a T.

Perhaps you are old
And your skin doesn’t fit.
But that doesn’t matter
Not one little bit…

Or maybe you’re tiny
And can hardly be seen
You are no less a person
To say so is mean.

Because you ARE a person
The most awesome of all…
And a person’s a person
No matter how small.

Let us pray:

God, we are often faced with very difficult decisions in our life – where we go to college, what we want to do with our lives, how we want to be viewed as a person. But decisions about respecting each other – those shouldn’t be difficult.

God, grant us the courage to make a choice that will make us better people.  Help us all to understand and accept one another and realize that we are all unique in our own way.

Amen.  Mary Seat of Wisdom. (Pray for us)


Essential Elements of a Marist Education

Essential Elements of a Marist Education:

How do you find the education you want for your child? Begin with a school’s mission statement and see how it is experienced by all members of its community.

Our mission at Marist School is to form the whole person in the image of Christ through instruction grounded in religious values, the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the spirit of the Society of Mary.  Our mission shapes the experiences of students in our classrooms, hallways, playing fields, and stages.

Primarily, we seek to educate by using the example of Mary, the mother of Jesus and the first disciple of Jesus.  According to the advice given in the 1850s by the founder of the Society of Mary, Father Jean-Claude Colin, to the faculty of the very first Marist school, we should seek to “think, feel, judge, and act as Mary would.”

Practically speaking, this advice gives our teachers, staff and administrators the following guidelines to build a relationship, as Mary would, with our students:

  • Never hold something against a student; they are still young.
  • Forgive students, and tell them that they are forgiven.
  • Hold students accountable for their actions, but don’t judge them personally.
  • Show students how to pray by praying before them and giving them opportunities to do the same.
  • Engage the students – talk to them with respect, ask a leading question, check the sarcasm.
  • Hold out hope when dealing with students and, if possible, offer them another chance.
  • Encourage students to make their own choices, and offer to help in guiding their decisions.
  • Take special interest in the student who needs extra care; be aware and include everyone as much as possible.
  • Have fun with students but never at their expense.
  • Be ready to apologize to a student if you have acted rashly or unfairly.
  • Advocate for students if and when that is required.

These elements are emphasized intentionally in our community, and we believe it makes a difference in the development of each child. We encourage our students to embrace these ideals and use them in their relationships with others.

As you explore our Marist School community further, I am confident you will see each of these in action.

Jim Byrne ‘83

Director of Admissions




Respect for all Life by Fr. Joel Konzen, S.M.

A number of years ago when I was stationed in Washington, DC, my cousin came from Ohio to visit.  She was maybe 23 at the time.  We went to the mall area for the day, visiting museums, the National Archives, and the memorials.  In the middle of the afternoon we sat down on a bench and looked around at all there was to see.  We didn’t speak for a while and I turned and asked her, “What are you thinking?”  She smiled and said, “Actually it’s about these great sights but more than that.  I’m thinking especially how glad I am that my birth mother carried me to term and allowed me to be adopted, which has allowed me to see so much and to look forward to a great life.  There’s a lot about my birth parents I’d like to know, but I’m just thankful more than anything else to be here.”  I was kind of stunned that that was what was on her mind at that moment, and I’ve never forgotten it.

If you attended a Catholic church over the weekend, you might have heard the theme of Respect Life being talked about.

The reason that the idea of respecting all life, not only unborn children but the handicapped, the poor, the elderly, and those in prison, the reason that it’s important for us to be reminded about the respect that’s due all the people, is that each life in God’s eye is special and particular and in need of support, and also it’s important because the messages that we hear are often about taking care of ourselves and not worrying about the unlucky other people who may not be as well off as we are.

It’s not just about luck, that some of us come out on top and some on the bottom in life.  It really is about helping everybody reach their full potential and to live life as fully as my cousin was able to or as fully as your handicapped brothers and sisters will or with the possibilities that Father David or Father Rowland or Father Bolduc talk about when they offer Mass for the men in the Fulton County Jail.  We have to believe that not only we were put here for a purpose but also all those who have less in the way of physical and mental ability, less chance to speak for themselves or to defend themselves, less money, less influence, less education.  Yes, like my cousin, we are all lucky and, I hope, grateful, and as we hear in the gospel, “From those to whom much is given much is expected in return.”

Let us pray.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

God, the source of our life and all goodness, help us to be aware of the value of the life you have given each one of us and of the same value in those we have not met or do not know but who long to be everything that they were made to become by you, their Creator.  Help us who have much to take notice of those who are in need of our support.  Direct us away from violence or cruelty because we are alive in the hope of the Resurrection and we are charged with bringing the Good News of that same hope to those in need of it.  Bless all who respect life daily in difficult places and situations.  May we honor your Creation by respecting the people you have given us to live with in peace and understanding.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Mary, Seat of wisdom.  Pray for us.

Spirit Day – Gatsby Style

This week is spirit week at Marist School with different spirit activities leading up to Homecoming this weekend.  Our theme this year is An Evening with Gatsby.  Today’s spirit activity is to dress up according to your grade’s assigned letter.  12th grade=G; 11th grade=A; 10th grade=T; 9th grade=S; 8th grade=B; 7th grade=Y.  Check it out!

Grandma and Geeky Grandson

Grandma and Geeky Grandson

Atlanta Thrasher

Atlanta Thrasher





8th grade girls homeroom

8th grade girls homeroom

7th grade boys homeroom

7th grade boys homeroom

Marist School Spirit

Everyone at Marist is very involved, and this time of year, I find there is always something to do. Right now I am spending most of my time playing Varsity Softball and creating the Yearbook. My days are packed tight, but they are full of things I love. With all of my activities plus the college application process, I am in a constant state of business.

On top of all these things I have to do personally, there is so much going on in general at Marist. Football games are a popular way to end the week for students. Last week was Camo night for the Seniors as we played one of our rivals, Lovett School. It is always fun to play schools where we know other students. It heightens everyone’s drive to win, so students get more involved and cheer louder. This past Friday night, school spirit was at an all-time high. The game went into double overtime, and I have never seen the Seniors so involved in a game. Even though we lost the game, we couldn’t have cheered any harder.

The beginning of this year has set the bar high in terms of school spirit. I am on the Senior Spirit Committee and am thrilled to be participating in this way. The first school pep rally of the year was a few weeks ago. It was one of the best we have had in my time at Marist, and I’m not just saying that because I led it, haha. The success of the pep rally had little to do with who was leading it, and more to do with students involvement and cheering. You could feel the excitement in the air. Whenever all the students get excited, the whole energy of the school changes. We become a united front that can take on anything.

I hope this united student body that we have been this first couple weeks can become the norm for the year. Everything is so much more fun when the entire student body cares and is involved. I hope that this year as a Senior Class we can get the school to be more involved than ever to make it a memorable year for everyone.
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Morning Prayer: A Smile

Morning Prayer: A Smile
September 26, 2013
by Joey  ’14

What’s in a smile? Seriously guys, like what does it mean to smile? Is it just us moving a couple of muscles in our mouths upwards? Is it that thing we always have to do at our homecoming picture parties while we stand with our dates for what seems like ages? Oooo I know. A smile is that shape they paint on clowns’ faces, right?

What’s in a smile? Have we ever taken the time to actually consider this question? I mean we do it like every day when we see our friends and stuff, so we gotta know what it is, right? Still thinking about it? Lemme give you a few ways that some people have defined a smile over the years.

A smile is a curve that will set everything straight.
A smile is the universal language of kindness.
It is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.
A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.
Douglas Horton even calls it “free therapy.”

The fact of the matter is this: we don’t know what’s going on inside of everyone else. Johnny may be having a great day, but Shelly not so much. But a smile never hurt anyone. In fact, there is SO much power bundled up into that tiny, little facial expression. Can you believe that? A smile has power! Not only that, that power is contagious too. You see, for some people, that smile is motivation to keep having a great day, a way to support them and encourage their positive outlook. And for others, that smile may be all they need to turn their day around.

And so, as you go about your busy lives today, I ask that you do one thing for me. Just one. Please follow Frank Sinatra’s advice. “Keep on smiling cuz when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.”

Let us pray.
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for our smiles. We sometimes forget about them, but we just wanted to let You know how much they mean to us and how every now and then, even a smile can make our day. Lord, allow us to use our smiles as instruments of Your love and peace. Most importantly, open our eyes to see the joy in our experiences and to see Your presence acting in our lives so that in doing so, we can more easily smile and know that somewhere up in heaven, You’re always smiling at us too.
In Your Son’s name, we pray. Amen.
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.