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Thank You, God from St. Thomas School!

The Northern Cross - November 2015
Thank you, God, from St. Thomas School!

By Dawn Flesland

November is the time of year where families and schools alike take time to remember what they are thankful for. At St. Thomas School we have much to be thankful about:

Father Ben Hadrich’s continued recovery after his stroke in August. Father Ben has been making wonderful progress after a stroke impacted the language/responsive side of his brain. During the month of October, he was able to come “home” to International Falls for a week. He reminds us that “God is No. 1, and everything else is second.” His passion for being a priest has been fanned, and those who know him know that he was already very passionate about the Lord and his calling to be a priest.

Our fall playground renovation was completed. This fall the St. Thomas School playground got fresh wood chips.

We were blessed to have supplies and time donated to complete the project. Boise paper, Briggs Construction, Up North Builders, Roche’s Towing and even the Rainy River Community College men’s basketball team came to help for a day. With the help of many, the work was lightened.

Active School Advisory Board members. Parent involvement in their child’s education is one key to success. No matter where your child attends school, teachers and administration can use your help. There is much to do, and Catholic schools encourage, and sometimes demand, your help!

Another year of growth in our K-5 grades. Many Catholic schools are struggling to stay open. St. Thomas School seemed to be in a crash course, with enrollment declining each year. We have changed directions and are holding steady our course of growth. I have faith that St. Thomas School will continue to grow and teach many children for years to come.

Teachers and staff that continue to teach students every day. Catholic school teachers have the best job in the world. They are able to share the Good News with their students and families each and every day, while integrating Christ into all facets of the day. What an amazing career choice, one that encourages you to share in your faith in everything you do.

We are thankful for parents who choose to educate their precious children in a Christ-centered environment. Families are the heart and soul of the school. Parents have so many tough decisions to make, and sending their children to Catholic school is often a financial sacrifice for the family. Thank God, our parents choose Catholic school. The rewards are great, and the opportunity to grow in God’s love is amazing.

The CREED fund, which makes scholarships and teacher faith formation possible. The Catholic Religious Education Endowment Fund financially assists Catholic School Education and individuals formally preparing for ministries and responsibilities in parishes or diocesan programs within the Diocese of Duluth. Each year Catholic schools receive financial aid to use for families in need, and our school (along with other schools) also received support to attend the Diocesan Assembly in October.

Generous donors who support our school with dollars, prayers, time and talents. At St. Thomas, we are blessed with so many volunteers that they are too numerous to mention. We have volunteers in the school every day, in addition to donors that support the school financially behind the scenes. All are a blessing beyond words for our students each day.

God’s unending love for us all. Father Ben reminds us that God is No. 1. God is the reason we have faith, love, hope and peace. Remember to attend Mass, and bring your kids.

We are thankful for all these things and more at St. Thomas School. What are you thankful for?

Dawn Flesland is principal of St. Thomas School in International Falls.