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August 23, 2020 - 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ:

SCHOOL. Well that used to be just a nasty word to kids all around the country in the month of August. I remember growing up every year around the early part of August we would begin hearing that it was time to get ready to go back to school. OH how we did not like that idea after weeks of enjoying the outdoors, family vacations, and just the freedom of summer.

But I imagine this year is different for EVERYONE. After months of remote learning from March to June, we then began the most unusual summer of memory. Travel is limited too due to the need to quarantine for two weeks following visits to many states. Any out-of-country travel was cancelled such as our parish pilgrimage to Germany. Much of the usual summer activities of our younger parishioners were changed or outright cancelled due to the need for wearing masks, ensuring proper hand washing, and observing social distancing. Boy this was one strange summer. And now we are in August and the word of the day is SCHOOL.

But this year that word is a nasty word for many not just our young people who may be dreading the routines that come with school, the additional reading, the homework, and the studying that is involved. Now we see parents STRESSING more than our young people about the return to school. It is such an anxiety-building experience for so many; just look at Social Media. Send the kids to school or do remote learning or outright homeschool. Worrying about the kids wearing masks (which by the way is really more an issue for the parents than the kids who will be wearing them). Worry, worry, worry. More than ever before this one word SCHOOL causes such a variety of feelings and reactions it is truly remarkable.

As we begin this new school year, during these unprecedented times, one question that I have been asked countless times about our own St. Bridget School is: will you be teaching in-person or remotely. And the answer is BOTH.