by Michael Morrisey
When I spoke to you last, the school year was ending and you had summer vacation on your mind.
How did it go? My hopes are that you were able to spend quality time with your loved ones.
To refresh your memory, we interacted last by playing a “did you know” game with our “Catholic School Pastors” as the subject. I also want to remind you that I won that game! We agreed our Catholic school pastors do many things.
I want to tell you a true story about a Catholic family — three boys, two girls, a mom and a dad. It was a happy family of seven. As I understand it, their biggest challenge was surviving the 1966 Topeka tornado. I grew up knowing the oldest son very well.
The oldest son was into sports. It appeared, from the outside, that he did not have a care in the world. He and his brothers were good athletes, and the family spent many nights at the ballpark or in gyms.
They were a happy lot until one very hot summer afternoon in June when family members were notified that their mother died of a heart attack while at work. The mom was 44! The ages of the kids ranged from 7-17. Their world came to a screeching halt.
The oldest son did not do very well dealing with this news. It was a very sad day. As everything in life, one day ends and another one starts. School started for this family less than eight weeks after the funeral.
From the first day of that school year through the end of his senior year, Father Tom was there trying to help the oldest son. I heard him inquire more than once about how the rest of the family was doing.
After a good game or a semi-good grade card, I would hear him tell the oldest son that he knew his mom would be proud of him. There was not a week that went by without some type of support from Father Tom. I am told that he even brought food by the house for the family. The oldest son would never say it at the time, but I know he appreciated Father Tom’s concern for his well-being.
I suggest to you that there are many stories like this one. Our Catholic school pastors do so much! I encourage you to join us on Oct. 8 when we will honor our Catholic school pastors at this year’s Gaudeamus Catholic education celebration, where more stories will be told.
Oh, by the way, that oldest son was me!
For more information on this year’s Gaudeamus, go to the website at: www. cefks.org, or call (913) 647-0344.