Forward in Hope


Sarah brown

Ms. Wells, Dean of Mission and Ministry, and Mr. Gramme, Assistant Dean of Mission and Ministry, display the creative onesies that students made during the activity on Monday.

From January 24-January 28, the Cathedral Catholic High School community called upon each other to celebrate the value of life, as Catholics, through a series of daily activities hosted by Mission and Ministry, M&M, and supported by the Dons for Life Club. Each event called upon a broader message to protect human life: the health of prenatal babies, deceased souls, CCHS students, and elderly.
Stacy Wells, Dean of Mission and Ministry, devotes countless hours coordinating the events each year to reinforce a message to students that are valued and loved in the eyes of God, from conception to death.
Wells finds it absolutely necessary that an entire week be dedicated to making this truth known to the students at CCHS, she denotes, “The catholic social teaching of the dignity of human life is foundational to everything we believe as Catholics.”
Life is central to all acts of a model Catholic. The dignity of human life, in brief, protects the right each human has to an equal opportunity in obtaining human decency on Earth.
She inspires students to act on this teaching through careful self-evaluation and participation in the Corporal Works of Mercy; “What does the face of the immigrant look like? What about the poor? What about the lonely?… As a Catholic you are responsible for making sure that the world is taking care of eachother.”
Wells’s insightful remarks remind each student that the fight for life is the fight for all life; no exceptions. Our brothers and sisters in Christ unifying under this principle made Life Week on campus this year all the more empowering.
Kicking off the week, M&M displayed a table of vegetables, each representing the size of a baby during each month of his or her development. This introduced the idea: children, our hope for the future.
During an ideal year, devoid of the chaos and restrictions of COVID, families are typically invited to bring their newly born babies to campus to interact with the students. This year, photo submissions of these new babies were on display instead.
As an interactive activity during Monday break, students engaged in decorating baby onesies with positive messages and creative illustrations to be donated to moms and babies. All materials were provided by Birth Choice, an organization that helps moms with surprise pregnancies.
A community favorite was the Tuesday activity, emphasizing the theme: hope for a better future for all. Wells describes it as “the most important of our life celebrations” and the “most hopeful.”

This included a ceremony to dedicate a tree on campus as the ‘tree of life’, with a special intention for Tammy Niu. This memorial honors the life of each community member that CCHS has lost too soon.
In honor of Tammy Niu, a valued employee at CCHS for seven years, plumeria clippings were blessed with a Samoan blessing and distributed to the attendees. Many fond memories of Ms. Niu depict her with a plumeria flower in her hair. This day was dedicated to celebrating the diversity of our world and the joy of culture, story and ethnicity.
Guest speaker Dr. Tom Kosak, a Catholic, medical doctor, visited the campus on Wednesday to speak about the theme; ‘hope for your future, value your life and health’.
He shared his inspiring faith journey and provided many resources to the students, like the health sites Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins Health. The book Why We Sleep, English science novel by Matthew Walker, Ph.D., was highly recommended during his oration.
Dr. Kosak encourages the use of his personal mantra: “God help me to be Christ and love to whoever is in front of me in every moment.”
He highlights how his faith intertwines with his profession and the importance of Catholicism on human health and well-being.
Thursday’s activity was both lively and festive! Students came together to write Valentines Cards, contributing to the week’s takeaway: hope for the lonely.
M&M has hosted similar activities and recalls immense gratitude from the senior friends. The Life Week crafts of this day were sent to the elderly at Nazareth House and Silvercrest. This brings light to a group of people that are still living in the shadow of Covid.
The week concluded with a party and game outside of Mission and Ministry.
Jack Hightower, senior leader of Dons for Life Club, discusses the week’s broad theme, “Forward in hope means that we need to do a better job in the future to protect life and to honor life and to just have that hope that we can make a difference and make those changes within our society.”
This intertwines with the clubs objective to “Honor life in all stages from conception to natural death” and to “remember that life is sacred and deserves to be remembered and honored.”
Hightower, alongside his five other senior leaders, can agree that “life is something as special as it is and it deserves more than a week to be honored.”