There is a cool new app called "Pocket Points" that lets your child earn coupons at local restaurants for putting his/her phone away during school hours. You can download the app and set it up for your geographical area so that your child can earn coupons to places around you. It's a great incentive for you child to keep his/her phone turned off during the school day!
This year, we are going to do something new at the end of every school mass. Each Wednesday, we will invite someone to come up and share with us about his or her faith journey, tell us something about why St. Patrick is important to them, or tell us why the Catholic faith is important to them. While you’re listening to these messages, I want you to think about YOUR message. What would YOU say if someone asked you to talk about why St. Patrick is important to you? What would YOU say if someone asked you why your faith is important to you?
Today, I want to share with you a little bit about my own faith journey. I grew up in a family where church was everything. My grandpa was a deacon and sang in the choir along with my grandma and her sisters. I remember sitting in the pews being so proud...probably a little too prideful that my grandparents were such "important" people. As I grew up, our lives revolved around the church. We went to Sunday school on Sunday mornings, church at noon, then came back for church on Sunday night. We had church on Wednesday evenings, too, and guess what...we never ever missed. Many of our social events revolved around the church and looking back, some of my favorite memories took place at church. Church was everything.
So you might think….man, Ms. Monaghan must have been a really good kid. Saintly even! Unfortunately, that wasn’t necessarily the case. Although I loved church and I loved God, I was kind of a mischievous kid who often found herself in a little trouble. I remember one time my best friend’s mom said she didn’t want her daughter to sit next to me, because I was a bad influence. She said, “Kaci, if you would just sit still, maybe you’d hear God talking to you.”
That stuck with me. I used to listen so hard, but I never heard God say anything. For years, I thought there must be something wrong with me, because God didn’t say anything to me. One time, I asked my mom about it.
When I got a little older, and I started testing the boundaries of my parents rules, often times I would do something that I knew better than doing. Even though in the back of my head I knew it was a bad choice...I still did it. Over the years, this little voice in the back of my head...you know it...the one that tells you not to do something because you know you’re going to get in trouble...that one. It kept telling me to choose the right path...and sometimes I did.
When I had kids, that voice was louder than ever. It was there, reminding me how to take care of them, how to be a good mom, how to make sure they were safe and loved. There were times I would be so overwhelmed with these 4 toddlers and that voice would remind me that everything was going to be okay. One day I was talking to my mom about it.
Woah...what??? That wasn’t God’s voice. That was MY voice. That was the little voice I’ve always had telling me NOT to make the bad choice I was getting ready to make. Me reminding myself of something that I already knew, but probably wouldn't listen to anyway. Right??
“No,” I said, “I mean, I just sit an I think it in my head. You’re a good mom, you’re a good mom….until I start believing it.”
She laughed and said, “And who do you think tells you that you’re a good mom over and over again in your head?”
Then it hit me...was THAT the voice of God I’ve been trying to hear? For all these years, every time I would know better than to do something, it was actually GOD talking to me??? When i would worry about something and in my head try to talk myself out of it...was that actually GOD telling me that everything was going to be okay?
It was then that I learned that the voice of God isn’t some magical booming loud voice. He doesn’t shout in your ears, “Hey, you! It’s me, God!” No. God’s voice is that voice inside of you that reminds you of right and wrong. It’s the voice that warns you when there is danger ahead, the voice that reminds you that you can do anything you set your mind to. It’s the voice who comforts you when you’re sad, who eases your fears when you’re afraid. You know the one. The one you've been thinking was just your own?
I learned that lesson when I was forty something years old. Today, I’m sharing that story with you, so that you don't have to go your entire life wondering when God is going to start talking to you. Today, I want you to know, that you don’t have to wait for God to talk to you, he already has. No more waiting for you! Now, you just have listen and believe!
My name is Kaci Monaghan and I am the principal of St. Patrick School. This week we celebrate the first day of a new year! We know that St. Patrick School would not be possible without the generous support of our parish community, and we do not take that lightly. Each year, we reevaluate what we are doing and look for opportunities to grow and improve in an effort to ensure that our school is worthy of our parishioners' support.
This year, with the support of our parishioners and the FIRE Foundation, we were able to add 2 teachers to our staff whose sole purpose is allowing us to specialize instruction for more students than we have ever been able to serve. This means that all students at St. Patrick School will receive an education that is developed to meet their specific learning level and style, so that no student is left waiting around or falling behind.
Along with individualized instruction, this year we have designed new STEM classes that will allow students in kindergarten through 8th grade to create, design, engineer, and explore while developing critical thinking and problem solving skills.
St. Patrick School was one of the first schools in the diocese to begin a Robotics program for students in grades 4-8. This program, which currently serves students from kindergarten - 8th grade, has received recognition every year since it began with our students winning countless awards for their teamwork, leadership, public speaking, and project design.
This year, we are welcoming 19 new students and their families into our school community who found us while looking for something different for their children. One father told me he was looking for a place where his son would be safe and nurtured and he knew from the minute he walked through our doors that St. Patrick was the place for them.
I could go on and on and on about all the wonderful academic programs we have put in place this year, because I am incredibly proud of what we are able to offer our students. St. Patrick is quickly becoming the school that other Catholic schools in the area wish they could be and are modeling themselves after. It’s an exciting time to be a part of our school.
But beyond academics, St. Patrick offers students something they simply can’t receive anywhere else. We have assembled a faculty and staff who are a passionate, hard working group of men and women with a heart for the mission and vision of St. Patrick School. These are teachers and staff who willingly sacrifice to work for our school, because they believe in what we are doing for kids. Our teachers truly believe they are not just teachers. They are Catholic school teachers. They are men and women of faith who put God first in their classrooms and who model God’s compassion, God’s love, and most of all, God’s grace.
As of Friday, August 9, the 221st day of the year, there have been 257 mass shootings in the United States, and 127 homicides in the Kansas City area alone. It seems like every time I turn on the TV there is news of another act of violence in our country. I’m not here to be political or pretend I have the answers of how to end violence in our country. But, I do know that 1 person can do 1 thing to create change and that’s what we are doing at St. Patrick School.
At our school, students are not numbers, they aren’t test scores, they aren’t data. Each day, our students are greeted by name from the minute they step out of the car. Throughout the day, they are welcomed, they are spoken to, they are hugged and loved by every single adult in our building. Not one day goes by where every single child receives individual attention. At St. Patrick, we speak words of encouragement, support, compassion, and love over our students each and every day. We begin our day with prayer, we pray in our classrooms, we pray on the playground, and we end our day with prayer too. St. Patrick is not just a school. It is a Catholic school, where God is the center of every decision we make and everything that we do.
Again, I thank the parishioners from the deepest part of my heart for your support of St. Patrick School. I walk into this building each day with a smile on my face, because I know that for the first time in my educational career, I am serving a school that is doing something profound for our students. I am consistently humbled by the generosity of the parishioners of St. Patrick, and I promise to do the best I can to be the kind of leader St. Patrick needs me to be.
St. Patrick School