This year it will be a little harder to get behind the buses and push. I will still be here when school resumes in the fall, but I will not be teaching classes once a week. For when school does resume, I will be just a few weeks away from my move to the South Hills. A little over a week ago, I went to St. Gabriel for one of their school Masses, and I visited the classrooms. They were very welcoming, and the teachers and students were telling me that they were looking forward to my teaching there in the fall. But every new adventure comes with a good-bye, and I will have a hard time leaving my family here. As we say in St. Malachy School, “Once a Bomber, always a Bomber.”
The attitude expressed by “Once a Bomber” is not the same as the British phrase of the “old school tie.” It is not just the memories of the current days that we will take with us into the future. Rather, we share something that holds us together, wherever we may go. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, still commonly known by its Latin name of Corpus Christi. Our school at St. Malachy is based on something more than math, English, history, and science. We have shared together the Eucharist. We are united by the Body and Blood of Christ, and the Eucharist I celebrated at my visit to St. Gabriel is the same Jesus Christ that I have celebrated with the school students here at St. Malachy. I will still have a few more school Masses when the fall comes. But even when those Masses are being celebrated with the new priests, we will be together in Christ.
So this is not a final good-bye to St. Malachy School. I hope that all of our students, faculty and staff have a wonderful and restful summer. In fact, I’m going to go against the advice I usually give to our kids. One day, on the way out to recess, I joked that they were not allowed to have any fun. I thought that was just a one-time joke, but the kids kept it up for a few days after that, and it soon became a running joke at recess time. So now I’m going to tell the students that they are supposed to have fun over the summer. But please don’t forget that the Eucharist is our common bond and that God does not take a vacation from us, so we should not forget Him over the summer.
Meanwhile, I will see everyone again in the fall and will be part of the new school year at first. But I have to recognize someone special who is moving on. Janet Katic has been part of our school for the last twenty-six years, and now she is retiring. Mrs. Katic has done a wonderful job with our third grade over the years, and she will be missed. Congratulations, Mrs. Katic. And you, too, get to have fun.