I know how excited you all are for Thanksgiving break to begin, so that we can go in many directions and to many places, and be in the company of family and friends to celebrate the holiday.
As eager as we all may be, it is also important that we think about what we have, and all the people in our lives and all the aspects of our lives for which we are, or should be, grateful.
I am thankful for the roof over my head; the clothes on my back; the food on my table. For the freedom we enjoy in our country and for those who died to preserve it. I am thankful for my health, and for countless opportunities I have had and continue to have in my life. And I am thankful for my faith in a God who loves and forgives me in spite of my sins, weaknesses, and many failures.
I am deeply thankful for the people in my life—for loyal friends and, above all, my two families. My wife and I cherish the incredible blessing of our three children, as well as our parents, grandparents, and other relatives—both the living and those who have passed on.
And I am thankful for my second family, the John Carroll family.
For all our teachers, staff members, and coaches. Lord knows I don’t thank you enough, but year after year, you play such a huge role in the success of the school, and in the lives of 700 students. God bless you and all your good work.
I am thankful for all of our students. To those of you who have just joined us, and to those who are getting set to leave for college (and for everyone in between), I’m grateful for you being the people you are—for creating joy; for providing fulfillment for all of us who have made education one of the cornerstones of our lives; and for offering us a real sense of optimism and hope for the world. May God bless and protect you now and always.
This family of ours—this community of learning, faith, and hope—inspires me daily. As I watched our first home basketball game of the season the other day, I looked up at the bleachers and saw people of different ages, races, and cultures, all unified as members of the Patriot family, cheering on the team. The solidarity and spirit of unity filled me with thanks, as it so often does at John Carroll.
I am grateful that we celebrate our successes together, and that we reach out with love and support to those in need, no matter where the call for service takes us. In particular, I am thankful that Mr. Ed Maynard is my friend and colleague. Eddie, I promise you that our school family will stand with you throughout your recovery.
We are not perfect, but in its own way, our school family is making a statement on a daily basis about how people should live and work together. In our little corner of the world, we are trying to do our part to bring about greater peace, understanding, and justice everywhere. I am so grateful to you, the John Carroll community, for making us that kind of school. May we never stop working towards those goals.
To all of you and your loved ones, my prayers and best wishes for a very happy, safe, relaxing, and meaningful Thanksgiving.
Best wishes and continued blessings to you and yours,
Richard J. O'Hara, President