Word for Word 1/29/20

Fr. Mark Osterhaus
Fr. Mark Osterhaus

This week at St. Patrick Parish and across the country, we celebrate Catholic Schools Week. There is a long history of Catholic education in our area. Here in Waukon, construction began in 1883 on a building which served as both school and convent with Dubuque Presentation Sisters as teachers. In 1939, a new elementary and high school building opened. My grandfather, Al Osterhaus, was the contractor and architect. The current primary grade building was opened in 1961. Today, we have 196 students in junior kindergarten through 6th grade.

Recently, our principal, Katie Fahey, formed a strategic planning committee. An acronym was formulated by  the group which lists four priorities: Relationships, Opportunities, Achievement and Responsibility.

Since our St. Patrick School mascot is the wildcat, the acronym spells:  R.O.A.R!

This group also formulated a new Vision Statement: Working with parents and community, students will be encouraged to live out the values modeled by Jesus Christ through daily service.

- Students will serve through faith, love and laughter
- Students will achieve academic excellence
- Students will be leaders of faith and service in the greater community

Strengthening relationships, seeking opportunities to serve, doing our best to achieve our potential and accepting responsibility all fit this vision statement.

When this vision statement was reviewed by committees from other schools, they said they liked the inclusion of the word “laughter” in the vision statement! It lets people know that learning can be enjoyable, and that the students, their family members, and their teachers, can all have fun together.  G. K. Chesterton, a Catholic author, said that “the reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly”!  Maybe having laughter in our vision statement can help us to walk with a lighter step!

Fr. Mark Osterhaus,
Catholic Parish Pastor
Waukon, Hanover, Dorchester

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