Several new things happened this past year. We had a Christmas Festival in which all the concerts for all grade levels happened on one day. Grandparents traveling from out of town certainly appreciated the one day event.
We opened a new infant room in the child care center.
The excellent work of the child care administration and staff received recognition.
The school was also recognized for its excellence.
Saint Albert has a beautiful campus. Volunteers and donors help to keep it looking sharp.
Pulling weeds and adding fresh mulch enhances the curb appeal.
A donor made it possible to put new concrete in front of the main entrance.
Other donors then made it possible to do the rest of the sidewalk.
The local Knights of Columbus support Saint Albert.
Volunteers and donors make it possible for Saint Albert to continue the mission.
The used uniform sale is one example of the good work of volunteers.
Working together empowers us to accomplish great things.
It has been quite a year in our world. Likewise, it has been quite a year at Saint Albert. I want to take some time to walk down memory lane and share about sixty or seventy photos from this last year. (It will take about seven blog postings to cover it.)
A good education is of tremendous value. A foundation in faith is essential.
Saint Albert Catholic Schools provides both.
Saint Albert is a "cradle to college" institution. It has been a privilege to lead this organization.
An institution thrives with strong leadership. It has been a blessing to work with these dedicated individuals at Saint Albert. Their knowledge and expertise is appreciated.
This view from I-25 in Fort Collins, Colorado showed the impact of one wildfire blazing in the area over the weekend. While the sun was shining brightly, it was eerily dark under the haze of smoke.
Although the camera on my phone did not do it justice, the sun over St. John XXIII Catholic Church in Fort Collins had a very unique tint to it because of the smoke.
The power of nature is evident time and time again. Please pray for all those impacted by the fires out west, all the farmers in Iowa who saw their crops damaged by high winds, all those on the east coast still recovering from the recent tropical storm, and any other folks who are struggling with difficult challenges of one kind or another. May we be people of faith who hold one another up as strive to be ambassadors of Christ's love!
Our world is in turmoil. Watching the evening news and/or the political commentators from a variety of shows can take a toll on a person. It is easy to become discouraged after a very short time of watching these programs. It becomes evident quite quickly that common decency and respect are long gone from the scene. How is a person of faith impacted by these things?
I want to encourage you to remain steadfast. The theological virtues of faith, hope, and love are essential.
We know what can happen when a person has faith the size of a mustard seed. (See Matthew 17:20)
Even in the midst of struggles we can be people of hope. We know that Christ has conquered all things. Subsequently, our hope will not be in vain.
Finally, we can be people who bring love to others. We are ambassadors of Christ through our baptismal calling.
We have truly been strengthened and empowered through the sacraments of initiation to go out to all the world and share the Good News. Stay strong. Put on the full armor of God. (Read Ephesians 6:10-18)
Progress is being made this morning at Saint Albert. Asphalt patching is underway and work on the perimeter fence continues.
The exterior things you can see happening reveal only a small snippet of the work going on behind the scenes to get ready for the new academic year.
Many thanks to the administrators, faculty and staff for their diligent work during the summer. I want to give a special shout-out to the maintenance team. Your extra effort to keep us safe during these uncertain times is deeply appreciated.
Donors and supporters continue to help Saint Albert flourish. Thank you to each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity.
How old do you think this concrete is? The driveway is at a school and only receives car traffic. There are very few truck deliveries that enter this driveway. Thus, it is a busy driveway twice a day during the school year.
I am told the concrete is about 12 years old. It is suspected that the concrete sat in the truck too long before being used; water may have been added on site; other possibilities were also mentioned. This is not my area of expertise. However, I see the end result of something not being done correctly.
Due to the length of time that has elapsed, the company responsible for the contracting job has refused to acknowledge any responsibility. Thus, we are on our own to get it repaired or replaced. We have decided to repair it for this year and get it on the schedule to have it replaced next summer.
I want to thank the volunteer workers who came to Saint Albert on Saturday to get the concrete prepped for patching. Your dedication and hard work is truly appreciated. See the pictures below of the cleaned out joints ready for patching. Hopefully, cars pulling in at drop-off and pick-up of students will experience a smoother ride this year.
You don't have to be in a kayak. This team is traveling more my style. While some of the racers completed the 340 mile journey down the Missouri River days ago, there are still some striving to reach their destination before the 88 hour deadline. They are at least in the right county now to finish the race.
They have been going since Tuesday morning. I can only imagine the fatigue.
Ameren's Labadie Power Plant sits in the background of this shot taken from the St. Charles County side of the river near Augusta, Missouri. It is hard to believe that thirty years have gone by since I worked at the power plant.
Where has the journey of life taken you? Reflect upon the memories, both good and bad, and give thanks to God for each of the experiences. How did you celebrate the good times? What did you learn in the difficult times?
What is going on in the minds of the racers at this point? After spending multiple days and nights on the river, I am sure the participants have made a memory or two along the way. Ibuprofen has probably become their friend as well.
The new school year is approaching and uncertainty permeates society. The jobs numbers are improving, but many people are still hurting. The toll of the societal shutdown will be long-lasting. Be strong. Keep praying. Continue to uphold one another through the difficult days. This too, shall pass.
How many people know about this race? I had never heard of it until today. Obviously, hundreds of kayak enthusiasts knew about this race of 340 miles which kicked off this morning. They have to make it to St. Charles from Kansas City in 88 hours or less. About 2/3 of the participants are typically able to do that.
A member of the ground crew for one of the racers sent me the photos. He explained that there is a boat that leaves after everyone else and sets a pace to make it to St. Charles in 88 hours. If the boat passes anyone up, that participant is then disqualified. The "grim reaper" has called them forth.
The reapers are even in full costume for their duties.
It starts out a bit congested from the mouth of the Kansas River but soon opens up.
Checkpoints help keep everyone safe and honest.
Supporters and ground crew personnel greet the racers at one of the checkpoints.
After a quick break and a little food and drink, it is time to get back at it.
Any time I see events that require great physical endurance, I am interested in hearing about the training leading up to the event. How does an individual prepare for a 340 mile kayaking trip?
I then like to put that into the perspective of our spiritual journey. St. Paul encourages us to run the race to the finish. My reflection questions for today are short and to the point:
Are we spiritually fit to stay faithful to the end?
Does our prayer life reflect discipline, endurance, and passion?
The perimeter fence around the campus of Saint Albert has been in need of some attention. I am thrilled to say that it is finally getting that tender, loving care today. Removal of the rusted and falling down fence is well underway as I write this on Saturday evening. I checked on the progress at 5:30 pm and the workers were still at it. The picture below shows the old fence gone and new posts being set.
I am grateful to the supporters of Saint Albert who make projects like this possible. Go Falcons! Go Saintes!
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