One of the greatest joys of the 2021-22 school year at St. Isaac Jogues in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, has been the great gift of watching our students grow closer to Christ. This year was marked by a large number of our students, and their parents, requesting the sacraments of the Catholic Church. At the Easter Vigil, six of our students and one parent of a student were baptized; and five students, five parents, and six other adults from the parish were confirmed. Many of these also made their First Holy Communion. Several other students were baptized before the Easter Vigil. Throughout the year, the Sisters have had the joy of assisting these students and their families in their preparations for the sacraments, both through RCIA and in the classrooms. All of these SIJ families who sought the sacraments were new to the school either last year or this year, and while they came in search of in-person education, they ended up receiving far more.
As the year has progressed, we have slowly been able to resume more normal activities, such as visits from a local pet shop, assemblies, and field trips (for some of the younger children, the first field trip they have ever taken!). We have also resumed all-school Mass twice a week, and have had our hearts moved as we listen to the children raise their voices in worship of God. Many more students have also stepped forward to be trained as altar servers, and their increasingly reverent service helps us all to worship more authentically.
This is our eighth year serving in the Archdiocese of Detroit, and it has been a year of many blessings and graces, even in the face of challenges. We were grateful to have the opportunity to begin making visits for vocation talks, and we hope to be able to do more of that next year, as the Archdiocese of Detroit undertakes a Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations. As the year draws to a close, we give thanks to God for the fantastic faculty and staff at our school; for our Pastor, Fr. David Cybulski, and his parish staff; for our generous school families who have been so supportive in helping us return to “normal;” and above all, to our good and gracious God, who makes all of this possible!