A Lenten Note from Principal Mares

Dear Notre Dame of De Pere Families,

If you haven’t had the privilege of getting sent to my office to discuss some less-than-stellar choices, here’s an inside look! A regular part of the behavior conversations focuses on the reality that all humans make mistakes sometimes but the most important thing is that we learn from our mistakes.  When we know better, we are called to do better.  When these pep-talked youth go back into the world from my office, I am worried for them yet hopeful.  Sometimes that was just what they needed to hear and personal growth is achieved.  Once in a while, a student will show me that they have not yet learned this lesson.  So frustrating, yet so human.

As we entered into Lent on Ash Wednesday, I settled in for a nice spring cleaning of my soul.  Ahhh…Lent.  So much joy to be had in doing more of the most important things and less of the extras.  My family and I had all decided on what to “give up,” all things that fill our time but not our hearts.  I gave up Facebook and Instagram.  This will shock you, but as a millennial, mindless scrolling of social media has become a go-to nightly event.  Last year I gave up Facebook, which was great, except I accidentally picked up an addiction to Instagram in its place so this year I attempted to level up.  My son and I were discussing my selection and I sheepishly mentioned that last year I noticed that for the first week, my thumbs would accidentally open the app out of habit and predicted that would happen again this year in the first week.  He suggested I donate money to the rice bowl each time I opened the app.  Fasting and Almsgiving together; kids are so smart!  By the end of Ash Wednesday, I owed $3, having opened social media 3x that day.

I broke my Lenten promise three times on the first day.  I knew ahead of time I would do so.  I still made the mistake one, two, three times.  Jesus loves me anyway.

St. Peter, a beloved disciple, denied Jesus three times in one day.  He was told ahead of time that he would do so.  He still made the mistake one, two, three times.  Jesus loved him anyway.

How amazing is it that Jesus loves me just as much as Peter?  Jesus loves the students who visit me one or many times just as much as Peter.  Just as much as the students who never visit me in the office.  Even though we all make mistakes.

May we all accept that we will mess up, even during Lent, even despite our prior knowledge.  Jesus loves us anyway. May we try and try again as we come to Him in prayer, seeking his forgiveness and striving to do better.

Thank you, Lord for loving me. Always. No matter what. 

With heart and soul,

Molly Mares, Principal, Notre Dame of De Pere

Notre Dame of De Pere School is part of the Green Bay Area Catholic Education (GRACE) School System. It is a private Catholic school serving Preschool and Elementary through 8th grade (PK3-8) with open enrollment. NDDP provides an individualized education in a faith-based environment. Each child is supported not only academically, but spiritually. The best way to learn more about NDDP is to visit! Click here to schedule a tour.