Faith Day 2019

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.

A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.

A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;

For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.

Sirach 6:14-17

The first reading at Mass set the theme for OLMC’s 2019 Faith Day.  As the students met with their Faith Families, this message of friendship and its many facets and riches was discussed, experienced and reinforced. From Fr. John David’s homily about his personal experiences with friendship all through activities led by the catechists and 8th graders, the theme of friendship with each other and with Jesus was woven throughout the day.

After children attended Mass with their regular class, and after they had a snack and a little break, they met in the gym and joined their Faith Families.  On this Faith Day the students were surprised to find themselves in the studio audience for Sr. Mary Josephine’s exciting radio show, 1954 AM The Mount.  And Moses and Aaron even made a guest appearance!  Moses and Aaron talked about their lives and all the fantastic things they experienced, but most importantly they talked about their relationship and friendship with each other and their relationship with God.  Through this interview, the reading from Sirach was reinforced and presented in an engaging and memorable way.

Before students left the All School Assembly and broke into their individual Family groups they were reminded of three important things:

1) Friendship with God brings us true happiness

2) Our hearts are restless until they rest in God

3) A firm friendship with God is the strong foundation for friendship with others

While spending time with their individual families (with a mix of students from PreK – 8) students played focused games and activities, again reinforcing the message of friendship: with each other, with strangers, and above all with God, who guides all relationships.

As the faith families participated in their rotations, students spent time in reverent Adoration and had the opportunity to go to confession.  We were blessed to have no less than six priests from throughout the Peninsula were on hand in rotation throughout the day to take confession.

One of the day’s most tangible and memorable activities was the creation of friendship bracelets.  This all school activity was capably led by OLMC’s 8th grade students.  This actively illustrated Our Lady of Mount Carmel school’s pillar of service as each student created a friendship bracelet for themselves and an identical one for a person being blessed by the OLMC Outreach Center.  When someone comes into the Outreach Center for a need they will be given one of these bracelets and they have the opportunity to leave a prayer request in return.  This prayer intention will then be returned to the school and the particular student who made the bracelet will pray that God blesses the recipient in his or her life as he or she wears a bracelet as a reminder to pray for their person in need.

The day ended joyously with praise, worship and even dancing led by Peninsula Catholic’s High School Ministry.  Peninsula Catholic’s praise and worship team was on hand all day, playing music at Mass and throughout Adoration.  They added a beautiful element to the day’s event and were appreciated and enjoyed immensely by both OLMC students and staff.

The Lord blessed this beautiful day.  The good feelings of friendship fostered were palpable.  Thank you to all of our students, catechists, staff, parents, family and friends that made this day possible and tirelessly help make Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School a place that truly fosters faith, family, and friendship.

 

 

The Cat in the Hat Came Back

The beloved author Theodore Geisel once told his readers, “Reading can take you places you have never been before.” On March 2nd, reading took our primary grade students to one of their favorite places: Dr. Seuss Night at OLMC School.

For several years, OLMC has thrilled our PreK through second grade students – along with their siblings, parents and teachers – by hosting a spectacular celebration of Dr. Seuss stories and characters. They join with millions of schoolchildren around the world to celebrate this birthday of Dr. Seuss, aka Theodore Geisel.

Under the direction of librarian Jennifer Kunz, OLMC School is transformed into a wonderland of pajamas, Seuss character costumes, artwork and games. “It is a huge amount of work and effort,” says Mrs. Kunz. “But if it inspires even one child’s love of reading, then I consider it a job well done.”

Far more than “one” child has been inspired to read due to this celebration; Mrs. Kunz reports that the first year she organized the events, students and guests filled the school library. But in 2018, the overwhelming attendance meant taking over the entire middle school building!

Mrs. Kunz says she spent three months planning and producing Seuss night, with the help of dozens of volunteer teachers, parents and Girl Scouts. When March 2nd arrived, students came back to school at night, swapping their school uniforms for their jammies or Seuss character costumes. They were assigned a rhyming word badge and a middle school guide to lead them for the next two hours, following a creatively designed map of stations. Each station featured a game, story or snack for the children to enjoy, including “Dr. Seuss Twister,” “I Spy Dr. Seuss” and “Horton’s Egg Popping.”

When asked about the most memorable moments of the celebration, the volunteers had many, especially seeing the joy and excitement on the children’s faces.  Mrs. Kunz also shared her decision to move story time to the very end of the evening: “Part of me was worried that the children wouldn’t be able to gather themselves and sit calmly after so much excitement.  But as I sat there and pulled my first book to read aloud, every single one of those young faces was shining back at me!  They couldn’t wait for the story to begin!”

“I find no greater joy than sharing the love of reading with kids.”

Mrs. Kunz encourages all parents to learn “how much joy and lifelong memories they can get just from reading to their child.” After spending 15 years as a public and school librarian, she happily considers that task to be a privilege: “I find no greater joy then sharing the love of reading with kids. I have the most wonderful job in the world!”

OLMC Looks Like…Me!

Our community spotlight this month shines on our OLMC science teacher Angela Rizzi. Although you may already know of Mrs. Rizzi’s teaching talents, you may not be aware of the vast experience and Catholic perspective she brings to her middle school students every day.

The Rizzi family joined our OLMC parish community before their children were born. Angie had graduated from Purdue University with highest distinction and majored in Industrial Management. She worked as a consultant for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and relocated to Virginia. She spent 11 years working full-time as an IT logistics specialist. While working, she bore two children, completed her MBA at William and Mary College, graduated first in her class and taught computer classes at Thomas Nelson Community College.
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OLMC Looks Like…ME!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School is proud to announce the launch of our spotlight campaign on OLMC community members. We’ll be sharing stories of our community members, past and present, focusing on how their OLMC experience has contributed to the lives they live today.

For our launch of OLMC looks like … ME!, we’re highlighting Megan Gravette, OLMC Class of 2012. One of Megan’s best memories was playing school basketball, soccer, cross country and softball: “The 8th grade basketball team at OLMC was the most exciting sporting experience I’ve ever had!”

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