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President’s Message – Holy Week Services

It’s important that our families attend Parish services during Holy Week

The Chrism Mass is scheduled for April 16th, 6:30, at the Sportscenter


“Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Christ our Lord.”

 – Thomas Aquinas

  It could only happen at Owensboro Catholic High School! Say what you want about the student controversies that occur in other schools, but it’s refreshing to see a contingent of four articulate high schoolers come to plead their case for more Holy Week prayer services with a petition of 240 names. I don’t recall being on any of those committees when I was in high school. I probably would have signed the petition, but primarily because it would have given me an extra hour or more out of class!

   I’m in a position that doesn’t allow much student interaction, so this provided all of us with some good examples of how to communicate, resolve issues and respectfully accept points of disagreement while finding points of compromise and moving forward. This was an impressive student delegation. In an effort to support the parish liturgies, there was some miscommunication about what services Catholic Schools should provide during Holy Week.  

   First, this is the age of communication. You can text, tweet, FB Message, Snap Chat or do things the old fashion way, voicemail and email! Who picks up the phone or requests a face to face anymore? But even in these times of on the spot responses, meanings get lost when voices don’t connect. It was never anyone’s attempt to remove services or to have less of an expression of faith during the most significant liturgical week of the year.


   At the heart of discussion is how to make sure that we don’t offer anything in the school system that would replace what’s supposed to be at the heart of Holy Week: families engaging in their parish liturgies. There’s nothing new or different about the issue. We don’t want to duplicate services and we want to encourage EVERY student in our system to attend a Holy Day Service with their families in the Parish. In fact, I would venture to say that while our school ACRE test (the test of religious knowledge) scores are a good indication of how much Catholicism we teach in the Catholic School System; attendance at Holy Day services is a way to test how well students and their families practice the act of Catholicism. There’s nothing more moving or grace-filled for me than a Catholic School Service. From the Masses to some of the special prayer services (i.e. the OCMS sendoff for the kidney transplant from teacher Amanda Van Bussum to her husband, Travis), these are memorable expressions of worship and innocence. But we also have a responsibility to make sure students understand that the Mass we have as a school system is more difficult to replicate in the parish. But regardless of how well we relate to liturgies in our Parish, every person is responsible for finding power in community prayer, relevance in the scripture, reverence in the Eucharist and sometime our maturity in faith requires an extra effort on our part to worship and praise.

   Holy Week provides us with the opportunity to teach students that their faith home will always be a parish community. And our community suffers when we aren’t there actively participating.