Fifty-nine years ago today, Saint David's School opened her doors for the first time. Twelve 5 year old boys walked through those doors to greet Saint David's only teacher. The founders of our school were bold. Defined as brave, fearless and strong, these bold founders ensured their vision became a reality. Against many odds, they persevered and created something from nothing. We are all the beneficiaries of their vision and labor. Instead of focusing on the school's history this morning, I've chosen instead to focus on embracing the founders' vision with a call to action. Socrates once famously said "... the unexamined life is not worth living."
Sometimes we move so quickly through life that we forget to reflect upon and examine all the blessings we enjoy -- the warm shower that helped us wake this morning, the roof over our heads last night, the food on our tables at dinnertime, the comfortable bed crawled out of before school today. If we wait for the perfect time, the ideal opportunity to reflect and examine our lives we will never do it. 99 % of life, after all, is now, the present. We can't change the past and the future is beyond our control, so what we are left with is the present. I think what Socrates was saying is that we can't wait for that perfect opportunity; we have to examine life, reflect as we live it, appreciating all that we have as we experience it.
Yesterday, Tommy R., your Student Council President and I spoke with Father Joseph Jones, Provincial, for the Passionist of St. Paul of the Cross and Fr. Rick Frechette, Missionary. Father Rick arrived in Haiti some twenty years ago to help the poorest of the poor. Since then he has managed to build two hospitals and an orphanage. In the earthquake, Fr. Rick lost one of hospitals--completely destroyed, and half the second one; he also lost his friend, a seminarian, half his hospital staff, and his archbishop. Could we run Saint David's if we lost half the teachers? and we aren't caring for the sick and injured. Who can help them now? Tommy and I were not sure exactly what to say at this point in the conversation. What do you say to someone surrounded by so much death and destruction? We expressed our sympathy and pledged our support.
Fr. Rick, who is also a medical doctor, needs our help. In our conversation, the Passionists' asked for: Peanut Butter in plastic bottles, first aid supplies, ointments and anti-biotic cream, liquid baby formula, canned milk, diapers, and canned food. All simple things; things we take for granted. This is how we will help. Tommy and the Student Council are in charge. They will be reaching out to you over the next few weeks to coordinate our efforts school-wide and to maximize our response. Let's be ready when they call. Fr. Joe gave us an address in Florida, "Food for the Poor," which is a group that knows how to get the supplies right to Fr. Rick, cutting through the sometimes difficult bureaucratic process.
We will act boldly. Our Founders would be proud, this is the spirit of Saint David's. And while we are doing it, let's also reflect upon and examine the blessings of our lives; taking time, all the time, to appreciate, enjoy and be thankful for what we do have.
Our Founders, Socrates, and Haiti
The names of the Founders were then read by Nico R. at 3rd/4th Chapel; Cameron D. at 5th/6th, and Fernando G. at 7th/8th to conclude: Margaret Draper Boncompagni, Eleanor H. de Give, Charles M. Grace, Louise L. Hogue, George M. Horn, John Meade, Charles F. Moulton, Joseph M. Murphy, Gertrude D. Smith, Gregory B. Smith