Monday, April 9, 2018, offered a harmonic convergence at Jesuit High. In the morning, the awesome women of AWE came soaring into our school wearing their starry crowns, and our hallways were recharged with the grandeur of God.
In the evening, 325 members of the Class of 2022 showed up for Course Selection Evening, a threshold moment in a magical journey.
Thanks to a liturgical quirk, the Annunciation also fell on Monday. This feast traces the first step in Christ's story, when Gabriel brought Mary tidings of great joy, and she said her sacred "Yes!" to God.
All of this in the heart of Easter season, when the risen Jesus appears all over Galilee, even if the disciples cannot always recognize Him.
The proper response to such a swirl of joy is Gratitude, with a capital G. In a lyrical Easter reflection, author Peter Wehner channels Cicero: "Gratitude is the mother of all virtues, and among the healthiest." Read it and weep.
In the spirit of Wehner's piece, as well as the Time article embedded therein, I encourage you to take a few minutes to create a "gratitude journal." Here is one way to do so.
Go ahead—Gratitude Journals have been clinically proven to be good for us, and thus for the world. Around JHS, Gratitude glows all around us.
So let's get started:
- Thanks for Ambassadors (and JVs!) who made so many 8th graders really want to come here;
- Thanks for RAKs and other locker postings;
- Thanks for Encounter secrets we cannot share, and the hundreds of students who keep them;
- Thanks for student Marchers and Munch Madness hoopsters;
- Thanks to students with the courage to dissent civilly, and to dissent from the dissenters;
- Thanks to the Starfish Club, the Shadow Team, and all those fantastic unsung souls who toil in secret;
- Thanks for multicultural dancers and for underclassman MCs;
- Thanks for the heartslicing Fountain Talk of Amanda and James and Sahana and Paul;
- Thanks to Lissette and Emma on the board, and to the harmonious Lit band;
- Thanks for Maddy's voice and River's horn;
- Thanks for champs in ethics and alliance-building engineers;
- Thanks for the intrepid wordsmiths of the Jesuit Chronicle and broadcasters of JCTV;
- Thanks to lunch moms for cooking with love;
- Thanks for cinnamon roll Wednesdays;
- Thanks for all those who tried out and didn't make it, and resolved to try again;
- Thanks for multisport athletes and multisport coaches;
- Thanks for students who wrote more than 10 letters to push way past 90% for their school;
- Thanks for Iesha and Savannah and their Captain Courageous, Amyr;
- Thanks for the Green Team for Green Week, for yellow tape over water fountains;
- Thanks for spring sunshine and rain, and Oregon kids who splash through it all;
- Thank God for the Sacristans;
- Thanks for students who serve with our sisters and brothers on the margins;
- Thanks for counselors and Jesuits and deans, for sophomores and secretaries;
- Thanks for our magnificent seniors, discerning futures while holding fast to friends;
- Thanks for teachers who care, for parents who rise early and stay late, for all manner of children growing into lovely adults-for-others;
- Thanks to the God who made us, and to our Mother who said yes;
- Thanks for the cannonball that woke Ignatius from his vainglorious dream;
- Thanks for the Spirit and visions who visited him, and his fidelity to following the Son;
- Thanks for an Easter rising.
As we move through the homestretch of what has been a school year filled with blessings, may you and your families know how grateful we are for you and the partnership we share in the sacred work of raising up young women and men who bring such light to the world's shadowy corners. Peace, y'all.
Paul J. Hogan