On Friday, Mr. William Goodwin came to visit the A1 classroom and shared about SPORTS. An avid basketball player himself, he shared about his own journey of athleticism. He discussed the joy of going to the gym and playing on the court, he talked about the strategies of basic plays, and he shared about who his favorite teams are now. However, he went beyond just talking ABOUT basketball. He discussed what he had learned from it and how it shaped his character and how it is such a metaphor for his relationship with the Lord.
He discussed the importance of teamwork in basketball - that everyone does better when everyone does better. How oftentimes one needs to be humble and pass the ball and give up the limelight for the good of the team rather than taking the chance for a crowd roaring three-pointer. He discussed the need for patience in basketball and the recognition of the process it takes to play - the training, practices, and long season - and that the process is what is fulfilling rather than simply winning every game. Finally, he discussed the joy that comes from using your gifts - that God has given us certain talents and that we have a responsibility to use them the same as in basketball as in academics or arts.
Finally, Mr. Goodwin discussed how basketball is a metaphor for his relationship with the Lord. That in basketball, as the season progresses, there is more pressure to win, to perform, to work harder as a team. But as you work harder, as you practice more, the responsibility always increases. He said the same is with prayer and a relationship with the Lord. The more we pursue the Lord in prayer, the more responsibility he gives us to grow in virtue, to grow in holiness, and to work harder to bring about the kingdom.
He encouraged the adolescents to play hard in whatever sport or activity they are in - to give themselves 100%. He encouraged them to recognize how sports and activities are forming their characters - challenging them in humility, patience, and other virtues. Finally, he encouraged them to run after the Lord in prayer just as in sports you pursue the win by putting in hard work and determination.
Mr. John Hayes, a seminarian at the major seminary at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, came in to talk to the adolescents about the trifold nature of Vocation. He discussed how vocation is from the latin word "vocare" - and how we are each under the Universal Call of Holiness. How God looks at each of the adolescents and says: "St. Matthew, St. Samuel, St. Ava, and St. Catherine." He spoke on the manner with which we are to reach heaven depends on our Vocation with a capital V - what lifestyle is each of our means to holiness - priesthood, religious, single, or married. Finally, he discussed the specific vocation (career) we are called to - a way to make a living, fulfill our talents and desires, and glorify the Lord through our work.
The students asked him about his own vocation story - how he knew he was called to seminary - and what his daily life looks like in minor seminary at St. John Vianney and now at the major Seminary. Not only did he tell them about himself, he asked about them, engaged with them about their own interests, and popped the bubble around the idea that religious and priests are "weird" or "different."
It was a blessing for him to visit and share about his vocation and how the adolescents can begin to discern their own vocation. When asked the best way to begin discerning for them - he replied, "Prayer."
A unique part of the Adolescent classroom is the focus on practical life skills of a more advanced kind. As of yet, the Adolescents had a concentrated time of learning practical life skills at the Erdkinder trip, but they have also greatly enjoyed our past occupational unit of baking.
Under the tutelage of Mrs. Madonna Post, they have learned how to make applesauce, apple crisp, and banana bread. They have had the great pleasure of serving their final products to the guests in our classroom as well. Not only do they begin to understand the scientific process of baking and the delicate balance of ingredient and heat, but they have a sense of leadership and purpose as they move around the kitchen. After each lesson on baking, they write the recipe on their own card to create their own recipe repertoire.
It is a joy to see them moving around the kitchen, laughing, confident in their abilities, and proud of their final scrumptious products.
If I could change anything in the world, I would choose to end cancer. Cancer is a big problem in our world. In 2012, 8.2 million people died of cancer throughout the world. That's a lot. What should we do about it? Well, we can raise money for cancer cure research, we can volunteer at fundraisers, we can work as volunteers in hospitals and care centers, and much more. Those are just a few everyday things that almost everyone can do. I know that this may not seem like a lot, but every minute counts. Please consider helping people who have cancer and helping to find the cure. Let's all join together to cure cancer!
You might be wondering why I'm so passionate about finding the cure. Well, three years ago, my cousin Bryce was a happy 18 month old little boy. Suddenly, he became very sick. He developed a malignant rhabdoid tumor in his stomach. They rushed down to Children's hospital in St. Paul. They found out that the tumor was cancerous. While he was in treatment, we didn't get to visit him at all because no children were allowed except siblings. We worried about him every day. We prayed to St. Peregrine almost everyday. He is the patron saint of cancer patients. The only time I saw Bryce after he was diagnosed was at thanksgiving. He cried a lot of the time and had to take lots of medicines. He and my Aunt (his mom) looked so tired. I remember my grandma and grandpa coming to our house to stay with us. My aunt would post updates on how he was doing. I remember my Grandma starting to cry as she read it. I had to read the rest. My Mom and Dad went to the hospital because my little sister Agnes was going to be born. She was born on January 2nd 2015. We were all so happy to get to meet her, while at the same time, very sad and worried about Bryce. He wasn't doing very well. By this point, he had lost all of his hair and he was sleeping more than he was awake. He didn't talk or move all day. When my little sister Agnes was born, she got to meet him right before he died. He woke up when she came in and put his little hand on her head. It looked like he was blessing her. He died holding his favorite cow figure in his hand on January 9th 2015. I remember it being really hard for the whole family. I was 9 years old. At his wake and funeral, seeing his parents cry was hard. I remember my uncle (Bryce's dad) picking me up and hugging me as we both cried together. Bryce's older sister Klare was only 5 years old when he died. She didn't know that he was gone forever. I still remember teaching him how to walk by the lake at our cabin. Thinking about how his little brother Micah didn't even get to meet him and how every time one of her kids gets sick even with a cold, my aunt always worries about cancer. Just recently, we went to a fundraiser 5K for childhood cancer cure research. Me and my siblings and Klare did a dance to fight song for Bryce. The audience was amazed. Every day, I wear my necklace with a picture of Bryce on it in remembrance of him. This is why I'm so passionate about finding the cure for cancer. Especially childhood cancer. Let's all join together to cure cancer!
This is the picture of Bryce that is on my necklace. This is right before he was diagnosed with cancer.
Bryce blessing Agnes
If someone asked you "If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?" How would you respond? A possible answer is "I would change world hunger."
World hunger is a very severe problem throughout the world. Approximately 36 million people die of starvation in one year. If this affects a whole country it is called a famine. A famine is a terrible thing, many people die in countries all over the world. Currently there is a famine going on in South Sudan.
Famine has affected these places: South Sudan, Somalia, Germany, Poland, Cambodia, and many other places. In the United States, we do not bear such sufferings, instead, many Americans have obesity as their problem, in contradiction of famine. There are many different ways we can help end starvation. For instance, volunteering at places like Feed My Starving Children, or even donating money. World hunger is a serious problem we can help solve, one meal at a time. Together we can turn Famine into Feast.
We need to stop littering. There is too much littering in our world. That makes our world dirty. We need to find a solution to make people stop littering. We found a solution. It would help our people and our wild life. You sign up for a highway or road. Then you clean that road or highway every once or twice a year. Littering does not help our wild life. Therefore, we need to clean our world.
A beautiful day of recess and 2 on 2 basketball.
Celebrating Catherine's birthday on National Noodle Day!
Feed my Starving Children always needs volunteers. That's why the adolescents chose to volunteer at this charitable organization for our community service project. When we arrived, we put on hair nets and sat down for the greeting and introduction. The woman that greeted us was very enthusiastic and clearly happy about her work. She told us how to make the food and how our food would benefit Haiti, the country we were going to send the food to. Then we washed our hands and got started. The six jobs that were needed to work one of the stations include the food scoopers, the baggers, the sealer, and the box packer. Other jobs that were needed consist of the warehouse operators who pack the boxes onto crates, and the supply replacers who made sure we had all the supplies we needed.
While we were making the food, I felt so happy to be able to help those in need. I thought about those people in Haiti that wouldn't have to worry about getting their food that day. It just comes in a box and they eat it. How happy they must be. We make time for things we care about such as sports, our favorite TV show, being with friends, our pets, music, and much much more. We need to start thinking and caring about those in need, especially those who are starving. Let's make time for those that we care about.