Family Defined

October 8, 2015

The following is my weekly letter to the Bishop Chatard HS (Indianapolis) parent community:

We tend to use the word family quite a bit around Bishop Chatard. People from the outside might not understand that. What is it about our school that allows us to use the word so freely?

Maybe it is the fact that over 200 people have requested to be included on the distribution list for the BCHS prayer request e-mail that goes out each Wednesday morning. We want to pray for one another. We care about what’s happening in the lives of other community members.

Maybe it is leaving Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral on Respect Life Sunday, and seeing many of our students standing along the road holding signs in support of life. Then a little further down the road, seeing one of our teachers, along with his pregnant wife and four children, doing the same. A family stands together.

Most of you probably know that we have a pre-school here on campus, called Trojan Tots. When I look out the window in the morning, I can see several of our teachers walking their children across the parking lot to drop their kids off at pre-school. Later in the day, the pre-school kids will join the high school kids at lunch and I will have the opportunity to see them interact with one another. Maybe that’s why we say family.

One of our pre-school teachers experienced the loss of a stillborn baby girl recently. I opened up the chapel for Adoration for anyone who wanted to spend some time in prayer. Many did – fellow teachers from the pre-school, teachers from the high school, high school and pre-school students, parents, and still others who were made aware of the loss through the weekly prayer request e-mail. They entered the chapel, prayed for the parents, wrote a note of consolation to drop in the basket, and lit a candle for the little girl, Adalynn Faith. Some of the notes written by the pre-school students to their teacher brought tears to my eyes. One child had drawn a picture of a mommy and daddy looking up to heaven, where God was smiling and a baby girl with wings was waving down to her parents. That’s what happens in a family.

Finally, family members roll up their sleeves and help out wherever needed. Yesterday the Class of 2016 presented our 51st Annual Living Rosary. Considering the actual event only lasted approximately 40 minutes from start to finish, the number of hands needed to get it done was staggering: someone to put together the line-up and assign roles, adults needed to practice with the seniors, music, sound system set-up, greeters for our guests, passing out rosaries, decorating, setting up a reception for the seniors and their parents, photographers, ushers, lights, and more. The Living Rosary is a Campus Ministry event, a department of two. However, no fewer than 35 family members stepped up to help.

The people living in your home are family. That distinction has been earned over time as you have shared challenges and triumphs, sorrow and joy, anxiety and peace. You have been through so much and the bond that continues to hold you together is the love and concern you have for one another.

Bishop Chatard is a family, too. We have students, faculty, staff, and administration who sincerely love and care for one another, and we are not afraid to admit it. In forming this family, we are staying true to our mission to love as God loves – universally and unconditionally.

Thank you for being a part of the Bishop Chatard family!

Note: If you would like to receive our weekly e-mail prayer request list, go to:


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