Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition. One tradition I started eleven years ago was to republish a Thanksgiving newsletter I composed in my first full year as principal at Bishop Dunn that summed up my feelings about this very special holiday. For several years after that I would think, at this time of the year, about composing a different Thanksgiving newsletter, but, invariably, when I look at the “old” message, I couldn’t think of a better way to say “thank you” for the life and career that I have been blessed to have here. I’ve now stopped trying to come up with a better message, and I am more than satisfied to offer again my traditional Thanksgiving letter to my family at Bishop Dunn. Since I have come to know so many people in our school community so well, I remain confident that you will agree with most, if not all, of the sentiments expressed.
“If anyone were to ask me to pick my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving most certainly would be at the top of my list. The reason I like it so much is that it remains in its essence, despite occasional half-baked efforts to commercialize it, a time focused most clearly on the values that I cherish most – those associated with caring and sharing. Thanksgiving is a time for families to catch their collective breaths before the frenzied Christmas season begins in earnest, as they come together to relax and share a special meal and a special bond. It is a time, before we get all wrapped up in buying, giving and receiving gifts, to remember, how important it is to give and share the gifts that we already have with the less fortunate among us.
I have so much to be thankful for in my own life and in my life at Bishop Dunn, and truly appreciate the opportunity at this time of the year to express my feelings. I am grateful, first of all, for having a loving and supportive wife who has come to understand, and to appreciate why I continue to spend so many hours away from home devoted to helping my other family, the children at Bishop Dunn, grow in spirit and knowledge.
I am just as grateful for my own children, who have somehow managed to absorb the values that my wife and I tried to instill, which has resulted in my two sons and my daughter choosing careers of their own that are focused on serving the needs of the disadvantaged and disabled, as well as on addressing the wider needs of the world to find better solutions to the environmental and economic problems that plague us.
I am grateful, as well, to all the teachers, administrators and staff here for the things they do every day to set our school above so many others academically, and, as importantly, for the countless extra efforts they make that demonstrate so clearly how deeply they care for the children under their care.
I am thankful to all the parents of our school for showing their understanding of and appreciation for the special educational, artistic, athletic, and spiritual opportunities that our school offers, by their decision to put their children under our care and by the many sacrifices they make to keep them here, especially in these very difficult economic times. I am grateful to our parents, too, as well as to our many benefactors, for all the candy they buy, tickets they sell, special events they participate in and fund-raising efforts they make to help lessen the financial worries of those who run the school and the financial strain on those who pay to keep it going.
I am grateful especially to our wonderful students, who study so hard, develop their God-given skills and talents so enthusiastically, and who show so often in the way they care for each other, why the character development we work so hard to instill is as important for their spiritual growth as intellectual stimulation is for their academic growth.
Finally, I am grateful, without fear of violating the public school laws that force the separation of church and state, simply to be able to offer up prayers of praise and supplication to God at the beginning and end of each day with our students, as well as in newsletters like this on this special week of thanks.”
In case I don’t get a chance to say it personally before school ends Wednesday, have a blessed, caring, and wonderful family-bonding Thanksgiving!
Mr. DelViscio - I would like to thank my former principal, James DelViscio for once again giving me permission to publish his beautiful Thanksgiving tone which to me, it says it all. Have a great day everyone and remember to count your blessings! <3 Mrs. Lo