I knew we were changing schools when I saw the name on the website.
Catholic author and radio host Jennifer Fulwiler made a saint name generator to pick a saint of the year and the one I receive is usually prophetic. My patron for 2017 was Saint Angela Merici, founder of Ursuline schools and a patron of girls’ education.
Around that time, Father James had come back to celebrate Mass as a fill in for our pastor at Saint Elizabeth in Pflugerville. He said my then 10-year old and 4-year old daughters should come to Saint Louis, and I told him we were committed to another Catholic school. “Rivals!” I called back. But his idea of switching remained. And then Cindy Gee, who has volunteered for years at Saint Elizabeth as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion with my husband, sent an email saying she signed on as SLCS principal and would be so glad if we came over with her.
There’s something powerful about a personal invitation. It makes you consider things you wouldn’t have considered before. After the school tour we attended, we felt the Lord wanted us at SLCS.
My oldest daughter, very unhappy with the change at first, entered 6th grade to find a very friendly class, gifted teachers and a principal who checked in on her all the time. My youngest entered as a tiny Montessori preschooler who soared as her guide helped her read and journal at her particular level and encouraged her to be a leader to younger peers.
My girls would bounce into the car after school and tell me they did science experiments that blew things up, made up songs with a teacher who can write music and play any instrument (I was especially impressed when he broke out the accordion), made up skits to discuss real-world ethical dilemmas, talked about spirituality with seminarians and mixed age groups, read books on bestseller lists and from around the world, put together presentations on countries and science projects, and went to Mass every week – one time in Spanish.
We were amazed at what we’ve found at Saint Louis academically - the innovation of learning and the joy of experiencing the world God made. We were amazed at what we found at Saint Louis spiritually – my girls telling me they prayed the Rosary, sang songs about Mary and were taught character building through lessons on the virtues of the Holy Spirit. We were amazed at what we found at Saint Louis socially - good friends who are caring and spiritually aware, and teachers and staff who really care about the children, love their jobs and find ways to incorporate Jesus into every subject.
What surprised us, even more, was that the school became a home for my husband and me too. When we were discerning Saint Louis, I went to the chapel and asked the Lord to give really clear signs. About an hour after my prayer, my husband called and said he had been asked to join the Saint Louis ACTS team. He has since served on two retreats from Saint Louis, building up relationships with other amazing brothers in Christ.
And I was surprised to be asked to help with writing. My heart is very content to blog, write stories for the bulletin and “report” on the homilies from the school Mass for the parents who can’t attend. I found a home too!
Saint Louis Catholic School has been a gift to us. It’s amazing how a personal invitation can change things. Maybe you should consider the school too.
Consider it my personal invitation.