What a wonderful week to celebrate being Catholic! The Eighth Graders of Cardinal Pacelli School felt our school community should join in on the excitement of Pope Francis’ visit! Years ago they read the stories of Flat Stanley and his travels, and wanted to have a little fun with Pope Francis’ travels throughout America! Our mission, show him around Pacelli. There were 22 Flat Francis figures placed in all areas of our large campus. Students went searching together, as a class, to find and record all of his locations; handing in a completed search card to the Eighth Grade by the end of the day. The reward for successfully finishing the search will be an extra 15 minute recess for students at the discretion of the homeroom teacher. What better way to honor St. Francis and our Holy Father Pope Francis by enjoying time with each other out in the sunshine.
Much of the news coverage about Pope Francis extending to all priests the faculty to absolve the sin of abortion and remove the automatic excommunication that can incur has been misleading and confusing.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati wants to make it clear that our priests have already had this faculty for many years. No one who has received absolution for this sin from a priest of the Archdiocese, acting as the instrument of God’s mercy, should doubt the validity of the sacrament.
No priest can engage in sacramental ministry without being granted faculties to do so by the local bishop. What is included in those faculties is detailed in writing. Priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, as permitted by canon law, have long been granted by the Archbishop “the faculty to absolve the sin (of abortion) and to remit the (automatic) penalty” of excommunication.
As St. John Paul II assured post-abortive women in his encyclical, The Gospel of Life, “The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.” The Catholic Church also offers compassionate post-abortion healing through Project Rachel (www.projectrachelcincy.com).
A new school year has begun with a new approach. The faculty and staff of Cardinal Pacelli School and its parish, Our Lord Christ the King joined for a day of instruction, enlightenment, and community. Teachers, Administrators, Parish Office Staff, and Maintenance Staff gathered to participate in a workshop geared toward discovering their personal strengths and growing in their ability to function as an ensemble, working together creating a beautiful outcome for the students of Cardinal Pacelli. With a new principal at the helm, and a faculty and staff composed of long term veterans, as well as recent hires, beginning the school year on a morning filled with everything from creative introductions to activities requiring communication and team work, set the stage for seeing co-workers in a positive light and recognizing the strengths they bring to the campus.
Therese Wantuch guided the ‘Ensemble Building Workshop.’ “In working with the staff and teachers from Our Lord Christ the King/Cardinal Pacelli School, it became blatantly clear, that this is a group of dedicated professionals who have the strengths and talents to bring out the best in their students.” (Therese Wantuch) Before attending the workshop, staff members took an online “Clifton STRENGTHSFINDER” assessment which evaluated each person’s signature themes. According to Lauren Welsh, Junior High Science Teacher, “The seminar was really rewarding because it allowed the teachers to get to know each other on a personal level, not to mention compare strengths as we create the best ensemble for this upcoming year.” The morning also challenged the staff to participate in a few activities requiring the group to use their strengths cooperatively. Whether building a tower or expressing how they interpreted a scenario, the staff engaged each other in ways that opened lines of communication and fostered relationships. “My favorite activity was the ‘Survivor activity’ because it helped us understand that although we might see or hear the same message, we all interpret it differently. We all come from different backgrounds and prior experiences and we need to be sensitive and cognizant of each other’s decisions.” (Margo Parker, Junior High Math Teacher)
Picture: Kathy Baker (5th grade), Allie Goede (3rd grade), Zach Gagel (Phys Ed), Terri Cento (Principal), Becky Bedel (Music), Ann Custer (3rd grade) – built a winning tower through cooperative work and effective communication