Principal's note: The gift of being present

Principal's note: The gift of being present
I watched many this past Friday afternoon enjoying themselves in a bowling alley. “Nothing remarkable about this, John,” you are probably thinking, "this happens all the time." What is unique, was this event was sponsored by Rams For Life, under the leadership of Sr. Grace Horan and Danyelle Ramsey of Campus Ministry. In their goal to respect all life, the student group decided to create a social event to be inclusive of our Rams Program. There were 43 total students, including most of our Rams Program students, who showed up to bowl along with seven faculty and staff members. They had a blast bowling and came back to school to eat pizza, listen to music, and play board games. As the decluttering guru Marie Kondo likes to say, this event brings me joy.

Our students all have gifts, Rams students included. At this event, they were on display. For many, it was as simple as showing up, bowling alongside another student, and not making them feel any different than any other of their friends. Strikes got high fives, and gutter balls got teasing and “better luck next time” just like you would expect. The joy came as these students did nothing more special than sharing the gift of being present with a marginalized group, one that struggles with daily relationships and fitting in. Their time was well spent I trust. If one of your students was part of this blessed celebration of life-which is what it was-you need to know your student is to be thanked for sharing their gift. Students have many choices of what to do with their time, whom to share their gifts with, and they chose the Rams Program, and they clearly did it with love.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes about gifts. He tells the Corinthians that it is not enough to have gifts and share them if you do not have love. The greatest gift is love. He goes on to talk of what love is, the passage many of us come to know from wedding readings.

Though I command languages both human and angelic -- if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains -- if I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned -- if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

Too many times, those with gifts use them only for selfish reasons, and become, as Paul writes, like a gong or a cymbal clashing. The Central Catholic Rams For Life students used their gifts in the way God intended, for the benefit of others.