Local News and Stories

The child at the door

By Hazel Brewi- Administrator, Holy Name Catholic School

Lucinda struggled up the clinic sidewalk, pausing to rest a moment on a bench near the heavy glass doors. The balancing act on her crutches and the weight of the unfamiliar cast left her breathless and weary. She sat watching a stream of people moved in and out of the busy doors. A few paused long enough for the next person to grab the door as it began to swing shut. Most simply pushed their way ahead without even this small courtesy to their fellow travelers. She watched as a man pushed past a mother in a walking cast and stroller, he allowed the door to close just out of her reach. Then just beyond the glass doors a blur of dark curly hair, blue polo, and the bright red of a new cast, suddenly appeared.

A boy of five or six, dressed in his catholic school uniform, quickly opened the door and held it with his back pressed against the glass. The mother with the stroller gratefully thanked the boy, as she managed to push the stroller through the doorway. The boy continued to hold the door open for his mother. As his mother passed, she too thanked the child. The boy smiled and continued to keep the door open, first for an elderly couple exiting the building, then for several laughing nurses going to or returning from lunch, and a man dressed in a safety vest and work clothes. Lucinda looked over at the mother; she was simply standing and waiting for her son to complete his self-assigned service. As the flow of humanity slowed, the boy started to let the door close, then noticing, Lucinda asked, “Would you like me to hold the door while you go in?” Lucinda rose slowly on her crutches. With a smile and a thank you, she passed within the doors. After a moment she looked back, through the closing door saw the boy take this mothers hand and bounce away toward the parking lot.

Lucinda smiled. The uniform had changed. The teachers and principal from her daughters’ time at the school had moved on or retired. The boy had shown that the core values instilled at the local Catholic school had not changed. Many said the school was too expensive to run, an anachronism that should be allowed to pass into the past. Lucinda knew they were wrong, and saw in the boy’s choices why it is vital to continue to support the school and the opportunities it represents for the children of the community.

For many, it takes the actions of children to help them see the value of Catholic education. Like the boy, choosing to act in service to others without expectation of reward. The mother, patiently waiting for her child, allowing him space and time to develop his commitment to the service of others. These people and moments seem to be becoming lost in today’s busy world. Ensuring that our students can grow into caring, successful, and faithful members of our communities are of vital importance in today’s world. While the teachers, principals, uniforms, and academic standards may change over time, the core mission of catholic education is strong and unwavering.

The core educational mission here at Holy Name Catholic School is to provide a Christ-centered academic environment, designed to promote the total development of the whole child.

Our ministry extends beyond our students to the faculty, staff, and family members, in a way that strives to invite them to integrate the gospel of Christ into their daily lives; and to become an active part of the Christian community. This mission has been a living part of the Holy Name Catholic School since its founding in 1946. Despite changes in staff and the ongoing struggle to finance this essential institution, Holy Name Catholic School remains committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and Christ-centered educational program.

The teachers and staff at Holy Name Catholic Church and School strive to provide each student with an educational experience that promotes academic excellence alongside the development of moral and spiritual values. Our small class sizes allow teachers to build lasting and meaningful relationships that reflect individual student needs and goals. We ensure students receive opportunities for community service with ongoing monthly visits to the long-term care unit at PeaceHealth. We also participate in neighborhood liter cleanup and military care package collection efforts. Through interaction with our community during school-sponsored field trips, students develop their sense of confidence, grace, and manners in a variety of social situations.

While Holy Name Catholic School provides a program focused on Christ and Catholic teachings, we are open to students of all faiths. As a Diocese and parish, we are blessed with a school that has been financially viable for over 70 years; though often with a great deal of prayer and hard work by every supporter of the school. The hours spent by staff, parents, and supporters to sustain our mission represent the commitment to ensure Holy Name Catholic School remains open for all families, seeking a Christ-centered education for the children of Ketchikan.

We want to express our gratitude to those throughout the diocese who have supported Holy Name School with donations and box top collections. The mission of HNCS can only continue with the support of the people of Southeast Alaska. We all ambassadors for Christ-centered education. The need for people in the community who share our goals and mission are urgently needed, as we work toward growing our school family and ensuring our financial viability.

Every donation is used to support the students and families of our unique school. As we work toward funding, and increasing enrollment for the 2019-20 school year, we are again asking for the generous support we have been blessed with in the past. Please take a few minutes to pray for our efforts, consider enrolling your child at Holy Name Catholic School, or consider a donation to the school.