Books and Boys

Having seven sons and three daughters, and being an avid reader, I regularly consider are my children readers?  As a teacher I often hear from parents how their son is “on par” or above for his reading level, but he does not enjoy reading.  So not just for my own children but also the students that I teach, I ponder, how can I assist them in discovering the beauty of reading? The article below does not a “quick fix” or incentives for boys to become readers other than the books themselves….it is about choosing the right books.  Each book below is given a brief introduction, and surprising there are titles that I have not considered beforehand.  Dive into some rereads and some first time reads and enjoy!

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/10-books-every-boy-hazard
Written by Sean Fitzpatrick

Thanks to the adulterators of children’s literature, the natural anticipations when approaching forgotten classics have been skewed. Everyone expects that everything will be picturesque, nice, and most importantly, safe. For reality is far too dangerous, far too harsh a thing, and children must be protected from it at all costs. Real stories for real boys, however, refuse to deliver saccharine platitudes. These books are composed of the uncanny, unforeseeable, and unimaginable. They present a reality that is often harsh, terrible, and so far from the idyllic it is free to become adventure. The books every boy should hazard are constantly on the brink of disaster, but still bear the distant but firm promise of final resolution; deftly navigating the fine line between realism and romance—requiring caution.

I. Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat

Boys hold high esteem for books of high adventure on the high seas and Mr. Midshipman Easy by Capt. Frederick Marryat is preeminently one of these, brandishing bright prose, a swashbuckling spirit, sharp humor, and a penetrating look into the humors of human nature. This naval novel is a rollicking comedy set on a British man-of-war in 1836. Mr. Midshipman Jack Easy, a young officer of nobility serving in the Royal Navy, is sent to sea to be righted of his social sophistries and navigates the brutal and beautiful realities of sailors, ships, and skirmishes with a philosophic fortitude that is hilarious to behold as he always lands on his feet and claims the last laugh. Mr. Midshipman Easy has no shortage of exotic and exciting marvels: African curses, duels involving three, ships struck by lightning, musket balls and powder kegs, death-defying cruises, heart-pounding campaigns, cloak-and-dagger villains, murderous mutinies, shark attacks, family feuds, and a thousand other delectable intrigues. As a satire, Mr. Midshipman Easy is magnificently silly and serious at the same time, embodied by the gentleman-rogue at the helm of this indomitable book teeming with laughs, lessons, and life.

II. Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton

The natural historian Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946) was a master of bush-craft, a pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America, and an excellent story teller. Of the many wonderful books chronicling his outdoor knowledge and experiences, Wild Animals I Have Known is one of the best. In it, Seton tells the histories of such characters as Silverspot the crow, Raggylug the cottontail rabbit, Redruff the partridge and many more. Seton possesses the keen eye of the seasoned observer of nature and his writings open doors of wonder for the reader as he follows the train of Seton’s thought through his observations. Seton was also an accomplished artist and his books are liberally sprinkled with his own charming illustrations. On one level, this book is a collection of delightful and beautifully written stories. But to stop there would be to sell the author short. The writings of Ernest Thompson Seton are steeped with every true scientist’s first love: this fascinating world created by God. The more a boy becomes in tune with this “book of nature” the more he will be receptive to the truths of reality and its divine Author.

  • Recommended Edition: Dover
  • Recommended Age: 10-14

III. Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle

Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle challenges young readers to face the darker regions of history and humanity. The book follows a young German boy living in the Dark Ages who “saw both the good and the bad of men,” as Pyle removes the sheen that chivalry usually boasts and allows the cruelty that chivalry must face to show its face. Boys, like knights, must confront hardship, fear, and pain. Otherwise, they will never be able to conquer them. The whole point of children’s literature is not to force any design upon children, but to allow them to encounter things as they are and on their own. Otto of the Silver Hand presents an honest and unrestrained representation of the holy and the horrible, providing both the glorious and gritty elements so children might decide for themselves what is desirable and what is not without preaching to them for a moment. Just as the monastery was the hope for the Dark Ages by being a haven for truth, goodness, and beauty, that same Catholic culture remains the hope for the modern Dark Age, largely bastioned in good literature.

  • Recommended Edition: Dover
  • Recommended Age: 13-15

IV. The Chimes by Charles Dickens

There is no better tale to ring an old year out and a new year in than Charles Dickens’ goblin story, The Chimes. This little drama by the great storyteller deals with the temptation of Toby Veck to look back on the tragedies of a year gone by with dejection and very little hope for mankind. Suddenly, Toby finds that he has died and that he is high up among the bells in the belfry he has listened to all his life; and the bells are issuing not just chimes, but Goblins. Goblins that scatter through the world, lulling people to sleep, flogging others with whips, loading others with chains. Goblins that soar and sail through the habitations and businesses of man. Goblins that impose their impish devices mercifully and mercilessly as the Chimes ring. Dickens whisks his readers along a wild adventure as Toby is reprimanded for his loss of faith in humanity. This book rings out a tremendous moral for all who live surrounded by suffering. The Chimes is a reminder that, though the world is plagued with misfortune, ugliness, and tragedy, it remains the duty of every man to improve and advance with spirits unconquered.

V. The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle

Though best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s true passion lay in creating romances of historical fiction. His greatest achievement in this realm is The White Company, a high-spirited tale of friendship and bravery set during the Hundred Years’ War in 1366 as the Prince of Wales campaigns against Spain and France to restore his control over the Kingdom of Castille. In a wayside English inn, two very different young men are recruited to join the White Company, a group of mercenary archers preparing for the impending clash of nations. As these two friends make their way to the rendezvous point with many a rollicking adventure with lovely ladies, wicked lords, bloodthirsty pirates, and whatnot, Conan Doyle gives readers a vivid vision of the past. The tale finds intense culmination as the White Company is attacked in a narrow ravine by the French and Spanish forces. Though disaster abounds, it is not enough to stop The White Company from a victorious conclusion.

VI. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (1875-1940) is a good book for boys because it is neither plausible nor credible. Buchan was a connoisseur of the dime-novel thriller—or “the shocker,” as he fondly called it—and, in 1915, Buchan fashioned what would become the cast of a genre: The Thirty-Nine Steps. This spy novel is a breakneck race against all odds at a breathtaking pace, featuring the archetypal man-on-the-run with faceless foes of alarming power and precision on his tail. The Thirty-Nine Steps is a delight because it attaches more importance to pure emotion and plot motion than to plausibility. It is the type of story that is immensely pleasing to boys as it delves into the charm of the impossible. There is a very real need to believe in the impossible these days—to believe in miracles, where one man can overcome all odds and make a difference in the fate of a nation. The Thirty-Nine Steps engages and enacts this dream, and thereby serves to keep alive the hope that the impossible may, in fact, be possible.

  • Recommended Edition: Dover
  • Recommended Age: 14-16

VII. The Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke

In this engaging story of long ago, Henry van Dyke tells of the Magi, the Three Wise Men who came at Christmas, in a way both new and refreshing. Artaban, the other Wise Man, was accidentally left behind when the famous three set out and then spent the rest of his days seeking the new King whose birth the stars foretold. Artaban carries his gifts for the Child under his cloak: a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl. Over the course of the story he finds himself in difficult situations and his gifts provide the means required to remedy them. Artaban parts with his gifts to save a sick stranger, a threatened child, and a friendless woman. He must part even with his pearl, pointedly called the pearl of great price in the chapter title. Artaban, like the man in the parable, sold all his possessions to buy these gems for the King; to obtain the Kingdom of Heaven. This was the expectation of faith. What he did not expect was that he would have to give these gifts to others out of love. The Kingdom is gained through the giving of it.

VIII. The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was a master of action and adventure stories for boys, and The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses delivers vigorously on every expectation. It follows a young knight, Richard Shelton, during the 15th century’s Wars of the Roses over the throne of England. As Richard investigates the murder of his father, he learns more about the outlaw band of the Black Arrow and the possible treachery of his own uncle. His suspicions force him to flee his wrathful uncle and join the outlaws against him in a mighty struggle for justice. The Black Arrow is a lively medieval story with themes and fantasies and plots that appeal highly to the adolescent imagination. Its drama gives boys an understanding of what true intrigue is, true appeal, true gravitas, and a true moral universe. Boys suffer nowadays from an insular existence. More than ever, there is need for the old romance because it is remedial, because it is real. Books like The Black Arrow do not pander through virtual reality, but challenge boys to encounter actual reality in its most vivid and livid colors

IX. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

There is in existence a few books that can cure the sickness of cynicism. These books remind men of the glory and grandeur of man and the glories and grandeurs that give meaning to mankind. The Prisoner of Zenda, written in 1894 by Anthony Hope, is one of these. This gallant book is a remedy to the heavy seriousness of cynicism because it is lighthearted. It is a fairy tale infused with the optimism of escapism, the thrill of romance, and the charm of the dashing, debonair, gentleman hero. Even the gravest of cynics must smile, chuckle, and inch to the edge of his seat in appreciation of men bristling with weapons, women swooning in their lovers’ arms, guns firing and combatants laughing, swords flashing and soldiers of fortune. Thus it runs with blazing revolvers, ancient castles, woefully grim councils, wonderfully glib speeches, daring souls pulling at brandy flasks, midnight marauding, and one of the most memorable villains of Victorian fiction. The Prisoner of Zenda is quite simply irresistible, making it a balm for this dour day and age, and worthy of its reputation for being the finest adventure story ever written, in which the struggle between good and evil is a great game and nothing seems so serious as keeping the serious at bay.

X. The Persian Expedition by Xenophon

Shortly after the close of the Peloponnesian War, a force of ten thousand Greek hoplites found themselves in a very awkward position. They were in the heart of the Persian Empire, while the army they were hired to assist had fled or deserted to the enemy. The Greek generals and captains had been treacherously slaughtered by the Persians who had summoned them to a friendly meeting. Facing their doom, Xenophon, a common Greek soldier, took command and led what is considered the most fantastic military retreat in history. The Persian Expedition is Xenophon’s firsthand account of this march of the Greeks back home against all odds. This book is more than an interesting historical work. It is a manual for leadership. Xenophon not only exemplifies strong leadership, but he also discusses the differing leadership strategies of several of the Greek generals and of the Persian prince, Cyrus, thus demonstrating much of what made the Greek civilization so great. The story highlights the Greek characteristics in contrast with their more barbaric neighbors and serves as a striking example of the Greek attitude that was both fiercely independent yet also willing to submit to a well-ordered whole.

Summer Reading for Students- 2017

St. Louis Cathedral and General Andrew Jackson“Once you know how to read, then it is up to you to read and read well.  A learned man, a learned lady, is someone who not only knows how to read but who has read well.  This means that you will have to spend time by yourself with books, not just with machines of various sophistications lost in horizontal relationships of the now.” —James Schall, S.J. How are we to live in this broken world, Thursday, 25 May 2017. (1)

“Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realize the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors…The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. I regret that the brutes cannot write books. Very gladly would I learn what face things present to a mouse or a bee; more gladly still would I perceive the olfactory world charged with all the information and emotion it carries for a dog.” —C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism. (2)

As we prepare to open the doors of Ozark Catholic Academy in August 2018, I am pondering what could students and parents read over the summer that will begin laying the groundwork for this new adventure. This post focuses on what I would suggest students dive into if they are entering grades 7, 8, and 9 in August 2017.

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Seeing through the eyes of others or walking in their shoes, are phrases or notions that have been told to us by our parents, mostly our moms. In recent years, we’ve heard this from Everlast through the lyrics of “What It’s Like ” and more recently from Pope Francis when Roman Catholics meet sinners where they are. Opening and expanding our imagination through reading is a necessary step for us to be able to see reality for what it really is–reality.  C.S. Lewis understands that readers desire to see through the eyes of humanity, but even that is not enough for them.  For me, to walk in one’s footsteps, that is to understand or know someone, is to ask about what book he or she is reading and then be able to converse over it.

As your eyes peruse the list of books below, know that it is not meant to be “a list” but a spring board to inspire summer reading. The lists below are by no means dogmatic but do have a theme.  In Fr. James Schall, S.J.’s opening quotation a distinction is made between reading and reading well.  “Reading well” is an inference for possibly the following ideas.

First knowing how to read well, is about getting the most out of the fiction or non-fiction book you are engaged in.  An example of this, even with a novel for enjoyment, is to underline or highlight key lines that make you laugh, cry or leave you with wonder.  Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book, is the key text that can give you the tools to further enjoy what you read.

Second in Schall’s understanding of “reading well,” can be taken as reading books that are understood to be good.  Such a notion does not mean there is one list that you should read by the time you leave high school, or even pass from this life to the next.  But rather there are books that truly expand our sight or our experience by allowing us to see through the eyes of others or to walk in their shoes. The list below reflects just that. There are books worth reading that have been recently published, but perhaps the true enjoyment of such books can come about when one has read well those worthy of reading that have come before.

Of course, these books are only suggestions but I hope they will engage the imagination of students whether, it is poetry, fiction, or non-fiction. And by all means the lists below can be read and appreciated by adult readers.  Parents reading books along with their middle school or high school child is a step that we all can take and enjoy a hearty conversation over dinner, whether that dinner is around a camp fire, the beach or while visiting grandparents this summer. Just a reminder that this reading does not supersede any reading you have to do for the school you are currently attending.

Also, I know local libraries offer programs for children to read during the summer and even bookstores, like Barnes and Noble offer reading challenges to young readers.  Visit your local library or even better, a used bookstore and ask if they have such a program or that they might even begin one to bring in young readers.

Enjoy the summer and whatever adventure you have planned or those unplanned; either way, carry a book with you and you may possibly have two simultaneous adventures!

Entering Seventh Grade

  • Conan Doyle, Arthur. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Serraillier, Ian. The Silver Sword
  • Armstrong, William. Sounder
  • White, E.B.. Stuart Little
  • Currie, Eve. Madame Currie: A Biography
  • Alcott, Louisa May. Eight Cousins
  • Burnett, Frances Hodgeson. The Secret Garden
  • Speare, Elizabeth. The Bronze Bow
  • Fitzgerald, John. The Great Brain series
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island
  • Portis, Charles. True Grit

Entering Eight Grade

  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. Kidnapped
  • Verne, Jules. Around the World in Eighty Days
  • Wyss, J.D.. Swiss Family Robinson
  • Herriot, James. All Creatures Great and Small
  • Keller, Helen. The Story of My Life
  • L’Engle, Madeleine. The Austin Family Chronicles
  • Twain, Mark. The Prince and the Pauper
  • White, T.H. The Once and Future King
  • Morris, Willie. Good Old Boy
  • Tarkington, Booth. Penrod
  • McCullough, David. 1776
  • Orwell, George. Animal Farm
  • Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken (Young Adult Adaptation)

Entering Ninth Grade

  • Sienkiewicz, Henryk. Quo Vadis
  • Douglas, Lloyd C. The Robe
  • de Wohl, Louis. The Last Crusader: A Novel about Don Juan of Austria
  • Rawicz, Slawomir. The Long Walk
  • Austen, Jane. Emma
  • Austen, Jane. Sense and Sensibility
  • Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451
  • Cather, Willa. Death Comes for the Archbishop
  • Shaara, Michael. The Killer Angels
  • Sutcliff, Rosemary. Silver Branch
  • Buck, Pearl. The Good Earth
  • Lewis, C.S.. Space Trilogy Series: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra. That Hideous Strength

 

  1. http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/05/28/how-are-we-to-live-in-this-broken-world/ found on June 7, 2017.
  2. https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/11/26/c-s-lewis-literature-reading-books/ found on June 8, 2017.

 

Catholic Schools Week, the Afterword

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NWA-OCA 2.1 
February 3, 2017- Memorial of St. Blasé

For me, the week has been filled with a number of different activities celebrating Catholic Schools Week, both as a parent and in founding Ozark Catholic Academy.

I began the week releasing a short video celebrating Catholic Schools Week.  I would like to thank Trolly Line Bookstore for allowing us to film the video inside their store.  As we filmed in the a nook which was categorized as poetry and classics,  I did leave with three books in hand: One Man’s Meat by E.B. White, a hardcover novel by Dr. Samuel Johnson– Detector, and a hardcover of Henry Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis.

St. Vincent de Paul, in Rogers, and St. Joseph, in Fayetteville, both had school masses where students in uniform came together and participated in mass in numerous ways. At St. Vincent de Paul, board members had a table with our brochures. As parishioners left mass, they were handed the bookmarks we created for them this week. Many small conversations took place and the bookmarks were well received.

At St. Joseph’s in Fayetteville, they had the school mass at 9:00am followed by an Open House for the school.  I manned a table after the 9:00am and 11:30am mass in the narthex and handed out bookmarks as well.  Fr. Jason Tyler announced at the end of each mass that I was present in the back to answer questions concerning the high school. Parishioners were warm in their comments and thoughts and openly received bookmarks. Probably the most voiced comment from people was that they were glad to hear the high school was happening and have always been interested in having one. I stayed for the beginning of the 1:30pm Mass in Spanish and greeted parishioners as they were entering church.

One conversation with a mother focused on the importance of teachers and how her children’s teachers had really made a difference in their lives. But, she said that something was missing even then—it was not within a Catholic context. Meaning that she thought as good and personal as those teachers were, if their teacher-student relationship had happened within a Catholic school, the possibility of their relationship could have been even more rooted in Christ. She expressed her happiness about a Catholic high school coming, and she hoped her youngest daughter would be able to attend.

In the early afternoon, we published our latest video celebrating Catholic Schools Week.  I hope that if you have not had a chance to view it, you will.

Later this afternoon, the St. Joseph’s and St. Vincent ’s 5th and 6th grade basketball teams are competing against each other. OCA will host a few competitions during halftime. The winners will receive the very first Ozark Catholic Academy t-shirts. We hope to post pictures and short videos on our FB and web pages later this weekend.

Here is a link to my talk on St. Thomas More presented at St. Stephen’s on January 23, 2017.

In celebration of Catholic Schools Week, here is a link to all the images that were created to visually present, “Why a Catholic Education?”

My sincere thanks to Mrs. Katie Harris who has volunteered to help with the videos, audios, and images created for our social media.

Thomas More: A Man in the World, Rooted in Family

stthomasmorequote

On the evening of January 23, 2017 I was able to give talk on St. Thomas More at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bentonville, AR.

Here is the audio split into two parts: the talk and the Q & A.

Talk

Q & A

Vendors, a Lecture and Office Space

 

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Thomas More Sketch found at University of South Florida

NWA-OCA 1.4
January 27, 2017 – Memorial of St. Angela Merici

Vendors
The typical operations of a start up school continue…building relationships with our bank, Arvest, as well as finding possible vendors such as printers.  I have tried three printers out in the NWA area thus far trying to find not only a good price but also a printer who desires to do business with a start-up, a business that treats us like a long term or larger client.   In future posts I will recognize the printer/s I am choosing to work with, but at this time I am still looking around and seeking recommendations.

Area Charter School
In participating in the NWA Schools Choice Festival, my table was adjacent to NWA Classical Academy table.  I met Ms. Susan Provenza, the headmaster, along with a few of her administrative team members. On Tuesday, I was able to tour their school, and meet with Ms. Provenza to discuss their curriculum and how they are unique to NWA.  I have been getting summaries of the individual schools and all the options here in NWA, but over the next few months I hope to visit traditional public, charter, and private schools in the area to introduce myself, get a snap shot the unique educational opportunities they bring to NWA and begin to build collegial relationships. These relationships with other schools will allow me to better understand how to begin Ozark as strong as possible, understanding the educational community is key as there are many schools, public and private that have recently opened or expanding.  The Northwest Arkansas community is supportive of non-profits and in particular education options, so Ozark Catholic Academy hopes to enter this healthy educational market in a unique position in terms of our Catholicity, character formation, and curriculum.

Office Space
I was officially offered some free temporary office space, which will allow me a place to get work done outside of the house on a day to day basis.  Most of my day is spent driving place to place meeting people, but having a quiet place to follow up with others whether through emails or phones calls is a blessing.

St. Thomas More

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University of Dallas Professor, Gerry Wegemer’s book is great for today’s fathers.

On Monday evening, I gave talk at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Bentonville, entitled, “Thomas More: a Man in the World, rooted in Family.”  The audience was made up of parishioners as well as those from the NWA community.  My purpose was to enrich the audience with the life and ideas of Thomas More and hopefully to inspire them to learn more about him.  I used examples of his upbringing and education, as well as his relationship with his father, Judge John More, Prince Henry (soon to be King Henry VIII), his friendship with Erasmus, but moved into a few details discussing More’s relationship with his wife, Alice, and his children, particularly Margaret, his oldest.  I discussed how More’s goal was to prepare the soul of each child for the reality of life.  We can observe that he lived this understanding in how he guided the family as a whole but also how he interacted in a particular way with each child. Guiding More’s thought was the reality that grace builds upon nature.

 

The reality is the faith never goes without [reason]…[I]f reason is allowed to run wild and grow overly arrogant and proud, she will not fail to fall into rebellion against her master’s faith.  But on the other hand, if she is well brought up and well guided and kept in good temper, she will never disobey faith, being in her right mind.  And therefore let reason be well guided, for surely faith never goes without her. (Thomas More Source Book 278)

More’s end goal was for each child’s soul to enter into heaven, but without self-rule, which was grounded in well-trained reason, a child would not be prepared for life.  With the overwhelming amount of technology and gadgets in our lives today, More’s educational philosophy is even more relevant for ourselves and our children.

Concluding Thoughts

The lecture led me to contemplate ideas for next week’s celebration of Catholic Schools Week.  Look for a week of social media posts (YouTube Video, and our entree into Instagram) giving thoughts to why one should choose Ozark Catholic Academy in NWA when you have so many good choices already. The ground has been tilled and now the seeds are to be planted…

A great place to learn about Thomas More is the Center for Thomas More Studies at the University of Dallas, founded by Gerard Wegemer.

An unbiased plug for my alma mater….the University of Dallas is known as

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NWA-OCA #3


January 20th- Memorial of St. Fabian

Last Saturday, I was able to participate in the NWA School Choice Festival. It was the first time for me to see most, if not all, of the local private and charter school options under one roof. When people came up, I said that Ozark Catholic Academy is the probably newest school in the area as our doors will be opening until Fall 2018. This comment easily broke the ice and received a little chuckle.  

This was the first year for the event, but it was run well without any visible glitches.The event was successful in terms of seeing new faces and meeting potential families; about 45 people came by the Ozark Catholic Academy table. I was also able to meet some of my counterparts at other private and charter schools. I spoke with the Subiaco Academy faculty representative, Mr. Pat Franz as well as two junior students that spoke about their school. I met Mr. Dennis Chapman, headmaster of the New School.
 
I met some faculty as well as the headmaster, Ms. Susan Provenza, of the Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy. The Classical Academy had the table beside Ozark’s table, so we spoke about curriculum and culture. It was nice to see that many people who sought out the Classical Academy moved right over to table when they overheard talk of our focus on character formation and a challenging curriculum. The Arkansas Arts Academy had a strong contingent at the festival, and I was able to connect with their high school principal, Ms. Barb Padgett. I look forward to building relationships with other schools and partnerships in areas and finding ways in which we can support each other.

Both parochial schools, St. Joseph in Fayetteville and St. Vincent de Paul attended. Karla Thielemier, principal of St. Vincent de Paul and Jason Pohlmeier, principal of St. Joseph’s were able to meet with me last week. It was the first time for the three of us to meet together. They are very open and energized about the fruition of Ozark Catholic Academy. We hope this year’s Catholic Schools Week will be the first of many opportunities to present what the Northwest Arkansas community will soon be able to offer — a Catholic education from pre-K through 12th grade. In other words the whole package, which will overcome some of the limits the grade schools have experienced.

Please assist me in making a reality all that Ozark Catholic promises to be and do, especially by continuing to pray for the project and the Rocha family, and by sending people our way so we can continue to build momentum for Ozark Catholic Academy.