Friday, August 30, was a special day as we came together to honour the fathers, the grandfathers and the father-figures of our school community.
Early on Friday morning a committed group of staff and mothers braved the wet and chilly morning to start preparing the sausages, juice, coffee and bread rolls for breakfast. At 7.30am dads and their children began arriving to enjoy breakfast.
When the school bell rang all the fathers and pupils moved to the assembly area. Despite the light rain the special outdoor assembly went ahead. There was prayer for fathers, a recognition and appreciation of fathers and the principal told some Father's Day jokes which went down well with pupils, staff and the special guests -- the fathers, grandfathers and father-figures.
It was a tremendous school event that displayed the wonderful school spirit in our school community. There were 500 sausages barbecued for breakfast for the fathers and their children and very few were left over. About 300 dads came to the school for breakfast and the outdoor liturgy.
It was a wonderful way for the pupils to thank their fathers for their constant love, care and support. It was also a small way for the staff to thank the fathers for their tremendous support of the school, the school's ethos and the school's endeavours.
The fathers/grandfathers/father-figures were very appreciative of the morning and the hundreds of smiles as they shared breakfast with their children and grandchildren spoke volumes!
Some comments to the teachers from fathers: "Thank you for a delicious breakfast," "This is what Father's Day is all about," "Great work Holy Spirit School, great work Brother Nicholas, great work everyone," "Thanks for the warm welcome to the school" and "It was great to have the opportunity to join the children in prayer and thanksgiving."
Some comments from the pupils:
"I felt happy as I got to spend time with my father."
Cruz, of year 1
"I felt blessed because I don't usually get to see my dad in the morning as he usually goes to work very early."
Daniel, of year 5
"I was happy that I could actually spend part of my day with my dad."
Alicia, of year 6
"I was happy to spend time in the morning with my dad."
Xavier, of year 2
"It was really nice for dad to be at school and share breakfast and the liturgy."
Laura, of year 6
"It was definitely special as my dad doesn't always get the chance to come into the school when he drops me off in the morning and on this morning he was relaxed and not stressed!"
Joshua, of year 6
"I felt gifted to spend extra time with my father."
Luca, of year 5
"I felt special."
Fabian, of year 1
"I was really excited and happy because I got to show dad around the school and he was really happy."
Olivia, of year 4
"We got to celebrate Father's Day early and have a really good time together."
Lucas, of year 2
"It was good dad came as he's often at work and I don't usually get to see him in the mornings before school."
Max, of year 5
In our liturgy at the morning assembly we prayed for the fathers, grandfathers and father-figures to follow Jesus' example and His teachings in the most important job they have -- parenting.
Be loving and supportive, take care of your child's needs and your own too, be a healer, develop your capacity for empathy, show mercy, forgive and be patient -- these are the messages that Jesus gives us throughout the New Testament and they most certainly apply to parenting.
Like Jesus did, we should all value and protect children, and follow the Golden Rule with others, not just adults, but children too.
The fathers were given a special prayer card with St Joseph on it. St Joseph, foster father of Jesus and patron saint of fathers, served his family of Jesus and Mary well through work, prayer, devotion and love.
The morning ended with some dad jokes from the principal, Brother Nicholas, which got lots of laughs, including:
Q: What did the Panda give his dad on Father's Day?
A: A bear hug.
Q: Why did dad want to go fishing on Father's Day?
A: He was hooked on it.
Q: What's the first thing a dad does on Father's Day?
A: He wakes up!
It was a very successful Father's Day celebration!
- Br Nicholas Harsas is the principal at Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School at Carnes Hill.