Skip to main content

Founder's Day Chapel 2/5/10

Founder's Day--Socrates--Haiti

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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An Evening With Lidia Bastianich

On Tuesday evening, Lidia Bastianich, award-winning chef, restaurateur, television host and author, visited Saint David's to speak to the Saint David's Alumni Parent community and current Eighth Grade.



Interviewed by Alumni Parent Dr. Joseph Haddad for our Alumni Parent Council Lecture, Lidia recounted her youth in Istria when the once Italian peninsula shifted to communist reign after World War II, her two years spent as a refugee in Trieste, and her experiences after her family immigrated to America when she was eleven years old.


The boys were fascinated with her discussion about her family's escape from Istria and her life as a refugee and immigrant. She expressed her everlasting gratitude to the people who provided assistance to her family in Trieste and when they first arrived in New York. "I can't talk enough about the goodness of the people who helped us," she said. "I am where I am because of them."

As a highly successful person with…

Navy SEAL Bill Berrien '82 Gives Chapel on Service to Saint David's Boys

Former Navy SEAL and Saint David's Alumnus Bill Berrien '82 fascinated all during his Chapel Talk Tuesday morning to our seventh and eighth graders.

A SEAL for nine years, Bill was a member of two platoons in South America as well as part of a Joint Special Operations unit. He shared his SEAL Trident with the boys, talked about the intensity of training, and noted he remains close to many with whom he served.


Connecting his service to the values that Saint David's espouses, he encouraged the boys to always be students--curious throughout their lives, to find the best in everyone, appreciate setbacks, and to learn from failures. In the video above, he addresses the first.

He closed by planting these "seeds" for our boys to consider: that life is a journey to be embraced broadly with openness to a variety of opportunities; being a service leader is of utmost importance; the unknown should be embraced; and, finally, that the boys be their own best friend, compassi…

Saint David's Father and Son Dinner Featuring Mark Whitaker

Our annual Seventh Grade father and son dinner provides the opportunity for seventh graders and their fathers to share an evening exploring what it means to be a good man, the relationship between parent and son, and other mission-related themes.

The speaker at this year's event was author, journalist and media executive Mark Whitaker, who spoke about his memoir My Long Trip Home, in which he delves into the story of his family, in particular, his father. The son of a bi-racial couple who wed in 1956 (a time when interracial marriages were still illegal in some states), Mark spent many years estranged from his father, a brilliant African Studies scholar who struggled throughout his life with alcoholism.


Later, they would reconcile, but it was only after his father had passed away that Mark realized he wanted to write a book about this man who had had a groundbreaking career despite all his problems, and try to understand him better. Ultimately, the process deepened Mark'…