October 23, 2011

Saint Raphael's

It was still kind of the middle of the night when I headed for school on Friday - 3:45am!  I was meeting 6 students and Mrs. Trachim of our Math department at 5am to head down to Saint Raphael's Academy in Pawtucket, RI.  Saint Ray's (or Saints as they called it) is a Lasallian Christian Brothers school and I want us to visit a few as we discern whether or not we want to affiliate with Lasalle.

We made great time and were at the school by 6:45am.  We met up with Mrs. Benoit and Mrs. Murphy, both of whom help out in Campus Ministry.  They had plenty of food, coffee, and juice waiting for us and then took us on a tour of the school.  Saints opened in 1923 and has expanded over the years to 6 buildings - two of which are down the street.  They have two classroom buildings, three office/administrative buildings, and a gym/wellness center.  The school has less than 400 students and the population is pretty diverse.  Their former president is Lasallian Christian Brother Daniel Aubin, FSC who is a graduate of Bishop Bradley High School!

At 8am, Mrs. Benoit and Mrs. Murphy showed us a slideshow of their work in Campus Ministry and spent time going over all their work.  Our 6 students were then each paired up with a student from Saints and they spent a few hours sitting in on classes and touring the school.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Benoit took me and Mrs. Trachim around the school to meet folks.  Everyone was incredibly kind and took a genuine interest in us and why we were there.  When the Drama advisor heard we were doing "Seussical" next month, he showed me some backdrops they used when they did the play and said we could borrow them for our play!  We had great conversations with folks and were incredibly impressed with the work being done there.

After lunch (I had an amazing buffalo chicken wrap and my students know how much I love buffalo chicken) we headed to the gym for the final assembly of their Spirit Week.  They asked one of our students to be one of the judges for the musical acts ("Saints Got Talent) which were punctuated by games which pinned class against class.  It was a lot of fun and gave me some ideas for our Trinity Week.

We were back on the road around 2:50pm and one thing I forgot to do before we headed back was fill up the gas tank!  Around Needham, MA I heard a sound and noticed that we were comletely out of gas.  Thankfully I used to work in this area and knew there was a gas station right off the exit we were near.  We had enough fumes (or momentum) to cross over three lanes and take the exit.  However, as I went to turn into the Hess Station, the wheel locked up and the car stalled.  We were all praying the Hail Mary hoping the car would make it but to no avail.  Our front tires were in the gas station lot but the back part was in the street.  Mrs. Trachim and the kids jumped out and pushed the car in despite the major honking and yelling from the other cars we were blocking.  It made for quite the memory.

Anyway, it was a fantastic day and it really helped us all gain a better understanding of the larger Lasallian world and to see a Lasallian school in action.  The folks at Saint Raphael's were beyond hospitable and helpful and ensured we had a pleasant and comfortable day.  A huge thank you to everyone there!  Next stop - Lasalle Academy in Providence.

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