an Expanding Heart

Morning Prayer:
September 13, 2016
Prayer by Mrs. Linda MacLean, VP Finance

Good Morning Marist!!

Today is my son’s birthday. He is the youngest of three, and turns 22. Before I go any further, to those of you sharing this day, happy birthday!

Birthdays were a big deal in our house. One of our traditions was to fill our kitchen patio door with silly pictures of the birthday boy or girl, complete with goofy captions. It was our way to celebrate and to remember lots of different things that we hadn’t thought about for a while.

I love birthdays for that reason. Birthdays remind me to think back and spend time with my memories. Last night, I thought about birthdays and the day that each of my kids were born, beginning with the birth of my first daughter. As a new mother, I was certain that my heart would burst with my love for her. Then, almost two years later, I was about to give birth to her little sister, and truthfully, as excited as I was, part of me was VERY scared. Why? Because I was not sure that I could ever love my second daughter as much as I loved my first…I wondered if there would be enough room in my heart to love another as much.

When she was born, I found out that my heart could expand and love her just as much. And then it happened again when my son was born.

As I was thinking about it, I realized that God gives us the gift of an “expanding heart” every single day. He knows that His love is so abundant, and he wants us to pour this love outward towards others.

Dear loving God,
This week, as we commission our peace pole, help us put your abundant love into action. Allow our hearts to expand to love each other, just a bit more, each day.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us.

Ireland Trip Recap

Packed up and ready to go, the War Eagle football team jetsetted 3,921 miles east to take on the Belen Jesuit Wolverines in Dublin, Ireland. Late Tuesday night the team, cheerleaders, and managers flew into Dublin. Fresh off their flight, they went straight to touring. First, the team got the opportunity to see Maldahide Castle and got in a practice in the cool 60-degree weather.

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The following day the team, cheerleaders, and managers had the opportunity to visit 3 Marist schools in Ireland: Channel College, Marist Primary School, and St. Mary’s College. Here they were able to learn that Marist schools are not all that different and are tied together by the fact that we are Marist.

Channel College

Channel College

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Following the school visits, the team got in another practice at University College Dublin and quickly went off to the parade and pep rally being held for us at Trinity College.

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(All the Georgia schools that attended: Blessed Trinity, Marist, and Westminster)

Finally, the big day was here! Friday morning the team went to Boyne Valley and then returned to the hotel to prepare for their big game. That afternoon, Marist defeated Belen Jesuit 27-0.

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The final day was spent watching the Georgia Tech v Boston College game. There, in a nail biting end, Georgia Tech won 17-14. After the game, Marist was able to go the banquet celebrating all the high schools that took part in the games. It was there that senior Jack O’Keefe received the Global Student Ambassador Award.

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All in all, this trip was such a blessing to take part in and surely created memories that will last a lifetime.

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I Love You This Much!

Morning Prayer:
August 31, 2016
Prayer by Caroline Dietrich ’17

Growing up, my parents always wanted us to understand the importance of telling the people that we love just how much they mean to us. My parents tucked me into bed mostly every night. We’d read a story, say our prayers, and then we always liked to play a little game. My mom or dad, whoever it was that night, would begin by holding out their hands close together, saying “I don’t just love you this much” then spread out their hands a little farther apart, again saying “I don’t just love you this much” and again and again until finally their arms were stretched out as far as they possibly could saying, “I love you this much” implying that their love was more than they could possibly express.

We may not realize it, but the same thing happens with God.

God filled the world with so much beauty. He gave us mountains and valleys, sunsets, rivers and oceans but God said, “I don’t just love you this much”

He gave us our own minds, to think, to learn, to grow and to choose right from wrong. But again he said, “I don’t just love you this much”

He gave us people. Friends, family, teachers and role models. He gave us people who we can learn from, connect with and understand the beauty of community. But God said, “I don’t just love you this much”

Then God gave us Jesus. His son. His ultimate attempt for us to know just what we mean to Him. He gave us His son who was led to the cross for our sins. For our guilt. And it was there on the cross where Jesus stretched His arms out as far as He possibly could, that he, himself took our pain, our regret, our sin. It was there that God said, “I love you this much”.

We so often forget our importance to God because of how easy it is to feel insignificant in this huge world. But if you look around at His creations, the sky, the trees, the people sitting next to you, all of these things are a reminder of just how much we are loved by our father. Each day, each breathe, each mistake we make is a gift from Him, a message from Him saying, “I love you this much”.

Dear God,

Thank you for the gift of today. Please allow each of us to recognize your unending love by the gifts you have given us. Be with us and remind us that your love can overcome all things.

Amen.

Mary, Seat of wisdom, Pray for Us.

Why Uniforms?

Morning Prayer:
August 30, 2016
Prayer by Ms. Perrin Rains, English Department

I love uniforms.  They’re simple.  When you put on a uniform before school, you save yourself tons of time, and energy.  I don’t know about you, but those are two things that I never have enough of in the morning.  I love uniforms because they help you practice dressing neatly for a career in a profession one day.  I love that they make you look scholarly and serious about your studies.

I’m proud to work at Marist, where we ask our students to wear uniforms.  And, not just for the reasons I already mentioned.  The word “uniform” comes from the Latin “uni,” meaning “one,” and “formis,” meaning “shape.”  Things that are uniform have one shape.  They are constant.  Unvarying.  So, I love that our uniforms help blur some of our differences and make it harder, at least for a little while, to figure out who belongs in which clique.  I love that our uniforms challenge you to express who you are as a person in an authentic way.  Now, I know, you’re probably outraged right now at the suggestion that your uniform actually helps you express yourself, but bear with me.  Your uniform takes away your ability to show others your interests through your style choices.  So, you can’t rely on superficial things like brand names, and piercings, and jerseys, to show everyone else what you like or dislike.  Instead, when you’re in uniform, you have to show other people who you are.  Are you a competitive athlete?  We won’t know until you show us by training beyond what Coach asks of you.  Are you a performer?  We won’t know until you sing for us in Woodruff.  Are you intelligent?  We won’t know until you ask a really interesting question in class.  Are you a nice?  Are you a good friend?  Are you honest?  You have to show us.  Uniforms push us to be more fully ourselves, and more fully who God calls us to be as individuals.

But, at the same time, our constant, unvarying uniforms are an outward reminder that we are one family here.  You, in your simple, tidy uniform are no more valuable and no less valuable than anyone else here.  You are fully and really part of this community.  You belong here.  And when you put on your Marist uniform every morning, you are stepping into the community and traditions of three generations of Marist students who have come before you.  When you put on your uniform, you are accepting the responsibilities and opportunities that have been given to you through the hard work and sacrifice of your parents and families.

Let us pray.

God, thank you for giving us the opportunity to come to Marist and wear its uniform every day.  Please give us courage to show others who we really are through our actions and our words.  And, help us to be the people our uniforms call us to be today – simple and authentic.

Amen.

Mary, seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

Opening School Prayer

Morning Prayer:
August 22, 2016
Prayer by Fr. Joel Konzen, S.M., Principal

Good morning.  This is, schedule-wise, a normal week.  Who knows when the next one will be?  Let’s make the most of it and get busy.  Let us pray.

Lord God, source of who we are and provider of what we have, show us the way in the days ahead to be mindful of each other’s burdens, to seek to cheer a heart that is heavy—be that our own or that of a friend, and to remain steadfast in our desire to be faithful followers of Jesus your Son, day in and day out.  By your Holy Spirit, may we know how to fill our minds and hearts with all that we will need to be good stewards of your creation and of the future that lies ahead.  This we ask in Jesus Christ, our way and truth and life.  Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for Us.

A sending off for the summer…

A message from Fr. Konzen, S.M., Principal of Marist School

Hello and Goodbye.  We have reached our last school day of the year.  I want to thank everyone for all that you have put into making this not just a good year of growth for yourselves, but also for your cooperation in making Marist a school that tries to live up to its calling as a Society of Mary school.  I hope this coming weekend is a time of some relaxation for everyone, but also that the final exam days that follow truly reflect the work that’s gone on to this point.  And then I hope we will be able to take some time to enjoy the rest that follows great effort.

While we break from our academic pursuits, there is no break from our spiritual development.  Honor the Lord’s Day wherever you find yourself this summer.  And for those of you in camps or playing summer baseball or doing leadership activities, may it be both productive and fun.  We will see you in the fall.  In the meantime, let God be praised in all you undertake in His name.

Gratitude for the Blessings of Another Year

Morning Prayer
May 26, 2016
Fr. Ralph Olek, S.M. English Department

This is the last morning homeroom of the year and only 11 classes remain. But who is counting? However, as we reflect on the past nine months, we have much for which to be thankful. I know I am thankful for teaching one of the most enjoyable 7th grade classes in my career. And many of you have experienced being part of outstanding athletic events, musicals, concerts, debates, robotics, academic teams, just to mention a few. We have been blessed with Peer Leaders, retreat leaders, student ambassadors and shadow hosts. And through all these experiences we have grown, shared, challenged, and laughed with so many. And that has been the best part of the year, for in the end, God will not care about how many A’s or B’s we receive or what university we attended or job we held. God will be more concerned with the person we have become and how we treated each other along the way. So let us pray.

Heavenly Father, thank you for all the opportunities you have given us this year to grow, to learn more about ourselves, to live simply and more humbly. Thank you for the friends we have made throughout the year and for all the opportunities of thinking and doing more for others than ourselves. Thank you for helping us through those classes we thought would never end. But most of all, thank you for creating us just as we are, for loving us just as we are, and for always forgiving us when we stumble along the way. Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us.

HootieHoo Prayer

Morning Prayer:
May 12, 2016
Prayer by Ms. DeGracia and her Advisory

When something comes to a close, often times people begin to reflect and reminisce. As the 2015 – 2016 school year wraps up soon, I, along with my Advisory, reflect on our year and even when we first met. As some of you know, our Advisory has a wise owl mascot and is nicknamed “The HootieHoos.” We’ve developed a bond over the last two years after meeting as strangers and now Carley Hale, Jack Demarest, Nick Paschetto, and I want to share a few literary lines that sum up some things we’ve learned together as a homeroom:

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.” – from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream  (Carley)

“The fool doth think he was wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – from Shakespeare’s As You Like It  (Jack)

“Happiness is only real when shared.”- from Krakauer’s Into the Wild  (Nick)

“We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” – from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire  (Ms. DeGracia)

We’ve learned to be respectful, be humble, share happiness, forgive, and make better choices, and though we are imperfect, we will continue to try to take this wisdom to heart. In meeting, we have all experienced God through one another and through our trials and joys together .

Let us pray.

Lord, fill us with your strength and grace so that we may be courageous in our faith. Let us be filled with the truth that the strength that overcame the world is living in us.

As the year comes to a close, and we all begin a new part of our journey of life let us find peace in the wisdom of knowing that you have plans for us. Remind us that wisdom is not something we can buy or acquire through anyone but you, our All Knowing and loving Creator.

We thank you for the memories and the joys that we have shared together as a Marist community. Give us the grace to do things out of love for one another and for the community as a whole.

We thank you also for the challenges you have placed upon us that have developed us over the course of the year into the people we are today. Let this be a reminder to ourselves and the community of Marist to rest in the wisdom of knowing that our experiences are shaping us into the people God wants us to be. Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.