As I write this yearbook message, we are in the final months of yet another school year at Our Lady of Good Counsel School, and it truly feels like we’re only just beginning! There has been tremendous growth all around, but with the heavy weight of the Covid-19 pandemic’s starting to become lighter, so much of what is natural and original of our school community is resurfacing. We are filling the last bit of the calendar with events that we’ve missed so much; the close interactions of students and teachers are more frequent, the joyous full view of our community members’ beautiful faces are returning. There is nothing like a bright visible smile of a child or friend to catch you in the hallways!
Ke AKUA Aloha, “God’s Love/ Love is God/ God is Love”, is the theme we carefully chose to lead us through a year of trying to trek on through challenges with hope of returning to normalcy, and to lead us toward and through a successful WCEA/ WASC accreditation! “WITH THE SPIRIT OF ALOHA”, is a key lyric of our school alma mater and we wanted to emphasize the joys that aloha brings when we live with it! There are so many ways to express how to live with aloha, just as there are so many ways to experience and share God’s Love! In the Summer of 2021, the Hawaiian focus values were planned with thought and purpose, and through the Holy Spirit’s guidance we were wonderfully able to grow in understanding, faith, and appreciation. I’m curious if you also felt the personal, spiritual, and real connections in your own life as the months’ values changed through the year! At one point, I stopped and considered the coincidences of the correlation of situations and events with the value of the month- some unplanned events really shed a light on the value for our students and all of us! We turned back to God after every achievement or learning experience to give Him praise! There are no coincidences. God was and is always in control!
Let’s have a recap of the themes and unique & unplanned events that came up to help us learn it! Have fun with this list! Can you name the Hawaiian value? Can you state the English translation? Can you recall the scripture? August – We welcomed to OLGC School, nearly 50 new families. September – A committee of staff members rose up and planned a full week of festivities for Aloha Week– a first-time ever event! October – The school received funds that would be used toward faith development. We decided to send Classes 4 through 8 on a class spiritual retreat, month-by-month starting in October November- More than half of the students dressed as a student on All Saints Day! Almost the entire community dressed in white for All Souls Day! It was a busy way to start the new month and a new week, but our students showed up! December- We welcomed a grand image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and we prayed together- the Rosary for the strength of new families January- The terrible Covid-19 variant impacted our community as we returned from the Christmas break with news daily of another staff or student out due to its effects. We remained prayerful and respectful of our friends. February- The Catholic Schools League opened after a 2-year pause! Sports teams began to form. March- Our hearts began to ache in sadness for our brothers and sisters around the world, especially for people of Ukraine. We were blessed to be able to share our care through powerful prayer on the date Pope Francis asked the world to pray for the conversion of Russia and Ukraine. April- At the Holy Week Mass, students were given a challenge by Father Santhosh- accept Jesus’ love, always do what is right- attend Mass with your family on the weekends. After this aloha-filled year, I am sincerely grateful and thank God for the people of our community.
I share a special mahalo with our clergy, Father Santhosh, Father Herman, and Deacon Jeff, our faculty and staff, our parents, and our students! We look forward to a new year with those returning. We keep in our prayers, the Class of 2022 and all people who are moving onto new places. May the spirit of aloha guide you along your way this summer and beyond! Sincerely in Christ, Mrs. Chantelle Luarca MA Ed.
In Christ’s peace, Chantelle Luarca, MA Ed. Principal Our Lady of Good Counsel School