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Love Rules This School


Mary and the Infant Jesus

Mary and the Infant Jesus

With the onset of September, 2011, my niece began her 26th year of teaching slow learning children in a brand new public school located in a suburb on the outskirts of Chicago.  The school has classes for slow learning children and normal learning children from kindergarten through 8th grade.  My niece Joanne, has a class of seven boys along with help from a teacher’s aide.

In the first week of school, a little boy from a slow learner class was missing.  Much excitement throughout the school.  About twenty minutes later the boy came out of his hiding place.  The Principal knelt down before the child and gave him a big hug, all the while saying, “I love you so much, promise me that you won’t leave me again!”  What a Christ-like way of dealing with a touchy situation.

Another faculty member told Joanne that the Principal has a degree in Theology.  After a few weeks of school, this Principal is a loving presence in the corridors and lunch room of the school.  The School provides breakfast and lunch for all the children.  What a great country we live in!  One day, at breakfast, Joanne noticed a tall lanky boy, about 13 years old, sitting by himself.  He looked a little sad.  She asked, “May I sit with you?”  He nodded.

They chatted for some minutes.  A few days later, as Joanne was walking by the 8th Grade room, she saw this boy sitting at his desk.  The 8th Grade teacher told Joanne that he was slightly impaired, but he was highly gifted in regard to music.  The lad couldn’t read musical notes, but once he heard a piece of music, he could play it back perfectly.

Joanne’s new-found friend has come a number of times to play delightful music on his keyboard for her class.  A saying among school people is that a teacher of slow learning children often burns out after five years.  So much patience and dedicated love are required.  Joanne tells me that she finds much joy and satisfaction in building up their self-esteem and little measure of learning in these special children of God.  Today, she has the same spirit and enthusiasm she had on her first teaching day 26 years ago.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

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November 12, 2011 - Posted by | Bulletins

2 Comments »

  1. I hope this finds you in good health. I am nursing a broken shoulder. I miss the Midway Airport chapel people. I don’t fly anymore, at home with the family all the time. Hope you have a great Christmas.

    EX ATA pilot
    Mike Derrick

    Comment by Mike Derrick | November 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. My wife and I had the pleasure of spending time in the Holy Land with Joanne… Having read Fr. George’s tribute to her dedication and Christian love only confirms what we saw in her during our time in Israel.
    On the other hand, we shouldn’t be surprised, she has good genes as she is a relative of Fr. McKenna.

    Comment by Steve Culen | December 14, 2011 | Reply


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