(COVINGTON, La) — On Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, Founder’s Week commenced at St. Paul’s School. This weeklong tribute to St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Order of Christian Brothers, focused in-depth on a particular Lasallian core principle each day.
“I look forward to Founder’s Week every year,” sophomore Merrick Coghlan said. “It’s always a lot of fun.”
As the first day of Founder’s Week began on Monday morning, specific emphasis was given to the core principle of “concern for the poor and social justice.” Thus, the Lasallian Youth Leaders (LYL) created “Jar Wars,” a charity competition in which each grade level placed monetary donations in their designated class jar, attempting to raise more money than other participating grade levels. In this contest, students placed coins in their own grade level’s jar to earn credits, and placed paper money in other grade levels’ jars to discredit them. At the contest’s conclusion, funds from each jar were counted and compiled. All proceeds benefited the recovery efforts of St. Joseph’s Abbey and Seminary College, which was ravaged by damaging flood waters in March.
“I’ve been going to summer camp at Camp Abbey nearly every summer,” freshman Andrew Hollingsworth said. “It was pretty awesome to have a fundraiser going on at school for something that’s so important to me.”
The week’s activities continued on Tuesday with emphasis on “respect for all persons,” the next of the Lasallian five core principles. In unified, small groups, known as “Pack Time” packs, SPS students discussed their own individuality and uniqueness, discovering common interests amongst themselves. Specifically, they shared their favorite TV shows, movies, music artists, hobbies, and childhood memories. Each group’s moderator, an appointed teacher, led their Pack Time discussion.
“I really liked talking about everyone’s favorite bands,” junior Robby Nolan said. “I learned some things that I never knew about the guys in my Pack Time. You can learn a lot about someone through the music they listen to.”
The core principle of “faith in the presence of God” claimed special recognition on Wednesday, placing worship, praise, and reverence at the center of the week’s events. Under the guidance and supervision of Campus Minister Jeff Ramon, five separate prayer services were held on campus simultaneously, giving students the opportunity to attend whichever most appealed to them. These options consisted of silent meditation in the Our Lady of Peace chapel on campus, praying of the rosary at the campus’s Katrina Memorial, reflection in the theater regarding St. Teresa of Calcutta’s writings, adoration in the Briggs Assembly Center, and prayerful singing in the new gym. Giving the student body the option of where and how to pray was a new experience for SPS students and teachers alike.
“I wasn’t really sure how the multiple locations would work out,” junior adoration attendee Adam Love said, “but it ended up working out great.”
Thursday’s underlined Lasallian principle was “quality education.” Thus, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, along with several other prominent public figures, visited SPS; educating teachers, students, and faculty about opiate and prescription drug abuse. Following Polite’s school-wide assembly in the new gym, students gathered in their Pack Times to reflect.
“The presentation was really eye-opening,” freshman Charles Hoy said. “I never knew how widespread opiate addiction was, and how common it is in our community.”
Field day wrapped up Founder’s Week on Friday, incorporating the Lasallian principle “inclusive community.” Grade levels competed in a series of games and competitions, including ultimate frisbee, basketball, soccer, and a student vs. faculty volleyball game.
“Field day was so much fun,” junior Andrew Curry said. “It was a great way to end out the week.”