As we step into the spirit of Thanksgiving, we offer gratitude for our St. Thomas Aquinas family.
In Advisory this past week, faculty, staff and students paused and voiced their deepest gratitude for their blessings. Written on white luminary bags, these notes of thankfulness were pedestalled in the center of our gymnasium as we gathered for our Thanksgiving Prayer Service.
Four of our Student Advisory Board Members shared their reflections on gratitude and their happiness of being members of this St. Thomas Aquinas community.
In their simple words but intricate sentiments, we rejoice. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34
Matt Ryan ’23: This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my family, friends, and school community. Adding to that, I’m especially grateful for my time.
We all have the same 24 hour day, 365 or 366 day year. We’ve been given a finite amount of time and well, it has to be managed. To add to that, we don’t know when our time ends. So, we are called to live complete lives for good.
Maggie Mae Cove Hamel ’22: There are so many things I am grateful for… When I wake up, I am in a warm house, with food, and clean clothes, which sadly not all people can say. I walk into school, a school where I feel safe, have the right to learn, and the ability to live my faith openly. In so many places in the world, people are persecuted for their beliefs and opinions. Our rights to freedom of religion and speech are two of the things we as Americans take most for granted… Our ability to sit with one another although we may possess different opinions is a strength and a prime example of how our differences can be refreshing, and collaborative. We stand together as a school, a community, and as a family united with a common goal. This is something we should all be thankful for: a safe, reliable unit of people looking to better themselves and the world around them.
Maddie Stailey ’21: Why is gratitude a powerful emotion? Is it because it humbles us? Is it because it reminds us to focus on something other than ourselves? Or is thankfulness an emotion that aids us in stepping back and gaining perspective? Thankfulness has always had the effect of helping me to step back from the situation I'm in and count my blessings.
I was searching for the perfect quote about gratitude, and I think I found it: "Whatever happened over this past year, be thankful for where it brought you. Where you are is where you're meant to be." I find this thought to be incredibly comforting. It implies that we have all faced challenges, but that those obstacles have helped to shape us and lead us to where we are today. Because at this moment in time, we're exactly where we're meant to be, gathered as a community and sharing in one another's company.
Peter Schultz ’20: As my senior year flies by faster then I’d like it too, I’ve found myself spending more and more time reflecting on what I have right now- not just because we are approaching Thanksgiving, but because in the near future I will be saying goodbye to many of the things I love about this community. I may not personally know each and every one of you, but you are all special to me… For you underclassmen, and some upperclassmen too (who haven’t realized it yet), the people sitting around you are your family. They are going to be the ones who bring you up when times are tough, and celebrate with you when there are nothing but clear skies ahead… All I ask of you today is to look around at all the amazing people who make up our community. Our four years with each other is very short, but that brevity makes it deeply special.
Principal Kevin Collins: In Psalm 100 we read, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Heavenly Father, today we give thanks for the Saint Thomas Aquinas community. You have blessed our community with so many people who share their faith with us and teach us to live lives of service. We give thanks for our faculty and staff who teach and inspire us. We give thanks for our parents who give so much so that we may have what we do. And we give thanks for our friends who make this community so special.
Bless each of us this Thanksgiving, Lord. May we always live in such a way that reflects our gratitude.
We make this prayer in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Happy Thanksgiving, St. Thomas Aquinas Family!