School Bells Ring Out Again!

DSC_0177                           August 8th began the 2016-2017 school year. Many schools in the Midwest and East Coast are still enjoying summer vacation while most of us in Arizona are back in school. Thank goodness for air conditioning. Here is the temperature in the shade on our first day back. IMG_1348

We begin every morning at 7:55am with prayer, announcements, birthdays of the day and Pledge of Allegiance.


A great way to begin the day – all of us together. We are a family at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School.

As we began the new school year, I hear comments like this from the students :  “Sister, did you call us 3rd Graders? We are in 4th grade now.”  And I also heard – ” Sister, we are in First Grade now-not Kindergarten. ” They are all so proud that they have moved up a grade.

I have worn glasses since 6th grade and would love not to have to wear them. BUT this 1st grader loves her fake glasses! ( so fashionable these days)












We are blessed to have two active priests at our parish who are involved in our school. Fr. Alan came the first day to bless all of the classrooms. For some of our new students we had to explain what it means to have holy water sprinkled on them.

1st Graders
PreK 4 year olds-isn’t that impressive having a 4 year old be a little altar server already! The little girl is holding the holy water.

Classrooms were blessed on the first day and on the 2nd day at about 8:30am as I was in the 5th grade room teaching Religion, I get a call from my secretary – ” The police just called and told us to be on lock-down. A prisoner from the work crew cleaning the park by school escaped and ran right towards our school!”  We hadn’t even practiced this yet but everyone from last year knew what to do once I went on our new P.A. to announce it. Impressive!

Fr. Ariel, our pastor, came to visit before morning prayer when students were playing in the courtyard waiting for the 7:55am whistle. Whenever he enters the grounds, a crowd gathers around him.

I love the dark blue clouds in the sky as we seldom see clouds -sun most of the days.
Fr. Ariel proudly displays the new shirts on sale in the parish’s gift shop. Great way to be Catholic and proud of it!
Noon Recess – 20 minutes with the older students and then 20 minutes with the younger students. A great way to get to know the students and my chance to be outside.

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Hopscotch is still in style! Great way to stay agile!

The new game –  Pokemon is popular here. In the evenings, when I am walking in our neighborhood at the convent,  I see a mom and her son spending “quality family time” as they tell me, searching for Pokemon. One night, they were with their phone behind all the mailboxes-but Pokemon was not there.

In the courtyard, before school began, a 3rd grader came up to me and said, “Sister, they aren’t following the rules!” “What are you playing? ” I asked. “Pokemon in Real Life!”  (this is without a phone)  How creative students are on their own.

As we begin our 3rd week of school, I stopped off at school on Sunday morning to prepare for two subs already. A street lady that I often meet in the alley by St. Vincent de Paul or she is sometimes going through our dumpster looking for items for the children who live in the trailer court,  was sitting on the step outside our cafeteria smoking a very long cigarette. She said, ” Hi Sister! ” I replied, ” Hi, how are you today. ” ” I am good. I sure love seeing you in your um, um -” I finished her sentence, “Habit.” “Yes, that’s it. ” Then she told me, ” You won’t be seeing me for awhile. ” “Why is that?” I asked. ” I am going to jail for awhile. ” she told me. ” I replied, “Why?” She told me, ” To get rid of some of my bad habits. ”  I told her, ” I will pray for you. ” “Thank you, Sister. I really appreciate that.  I will come back and see you when I get out. ”

The conversation was a quick reminder to me that we never know how we impress people, affect them in the short conversations we have with them as we pass them in an alley, in front of church etc. We are messengers of God -and at times without us knowing it.

2 thoughts on “School Bells Ring Out Again!

  1. Blessings on your year, Sister Carol!
    I remember those warm days in Arizona along with the gorgeous blue skies and the mountains.
    Thanks for sharing about your beginning days.

  2. Yes, it’s time for school. The children seem so happy to be back in school. It’s great your priests are so present to the children. What a good example! Sister Carol’s conversation with the homeless person is a good reminder that God is in our midst. We don’t want to miss him!

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