Dear Family and Friends of CMH,
There is a wonderful scene in the original movie “Yours, Mine, and Ours” which starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda as parents to a large blended family. The scene is the first Christmas morning for the new family. What I remember is, as the younger kids all rushed to their toys from Santa, one little boy found that the handle bars of his new bike fell off. At that point, up stepped one of the older brothers who helped with the situation since Santa was so busy on Christmas night.
In one way or another, we have all been there – riding the roller coaster of life that is Christ night and morning; feeling anxiousness and joy, busyness and calm, frustration and satisfaction. What should be telling to us is the realization that, in the end, we tend to remember one side of things much more than the other.
We each encounter these ups and downs as individuals, but also in shared ways as families, communities, nations, and even as a global community. I won’t touch on the “some assembly required” roller coaster ride that some of you may still have to face in a few days. But, I do know that whether measured in the wee hours of the night, or in a week since a great tragedy, or a semester of some four months, the experience is best considered for two great lessons.
First, we will (or better, we should) always remembers the best times. In fact, if the joys, friends or the loves are going to be what become our lasting memories, is it not a great indicator that we will move through a down time faster if we just move on to the good things? The second lesson is that even in the unexpected down moments, sometimes all that is needed is a new older brother to step in and be Santa’s helper.
So many great things have happened at CMH already this year that there are just too many to list. More importantly, the future holds even greater promise. When there is a partnership between the school, families, alumni, parishes, and community, all with the mission to educate, guide and prepare young people to serve the Church and the world, how can we have anything but great successes to remember?
Every Christmas, we remember that the Lord came to us so that we might be helped, be saved, by one like us – an adopted older brother if you will. In being the receiver of great gifts, we quickly learn that we must also become givers of Christ’s gifts to the world today.
I am so deeply grateful for all the God-given gifts that shine brightly at CMH. But, I am most satisfied that our students, families, and alumni are so bold in their thanks to God for their gifts and so committed to being givers of those gifts. Essentially, that is Caritas in Omnibus, that is The Memorial Way, and that is, sometimes, being Santa’s helper.
Blessings to all members of the CMH Family in this Christmas season. May those blessings extend into a joyous New Year, and be extended to a needy world by all your acts of love and kindness.
Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us!
Very Reverend Paul B. R. Hartmann, ‘84