Dear Friends of Chestnut Hill Center,
For parents of children in school, this is a busy time of year. Parents are making sure everything is ready to have their children get to the first day of school on time. The preparation can include making a dry-run to the new school to see what the commute is like, making sure books are secured for the first day, and making last minute communications with the school administration.
Perhaps another item on the school preparation list is more subtle, i.e., making sure everyone is mentally prepared for school, both for the students and parents. This kind of preparation can include setting goals to accomplish for the year, thinking of new friends to make, and wondering about the community that surrounds the school that a family wants to contribute to and benefit from.
I suggest that we all take to heart this last point above, that of seeing what our contributions and expectations will be from being part of a greater community of families. Of course, this idea is true whether or not we have school age children. We all affect many people around us, everyday.
I end with some remarks that the Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, made on the occasion of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven, on August 15: “A family is not closed in on itself, but spreads a family atmosphere around it, opening its heart to the material and spiritual needs of everyone. In a family, each person is important. So let us care for each one of them with our prayer, with our closeness, with our understanding, with our good humor.”
A final thought for the new school year: how can we create an atmosphere of good humor in our families?

Joe Billmeier