For the Kids Campaign
Dear CAW Families, Alumni, Community Partners, and Supporters of Catholic Education:
Chloe is a bright-eyed, curious, creative fifth grader at Catholic Academy of Waterbury. She plays on our Girls Junior Varsity basketball team, and she is often the first person to offer a compliment or a lending hand to a peer or teacher at school. This year, Chloe’s life changed in a way she never could have anticipated. Her beautiful mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. No one knew this at school for the first several weeks, as Chloe’s upbeat demeanor remained unchanged in the face of such a cross in her young life. Not until this new academic year did I learn of her mom’s diagnosis and the subsequent surgeries and treatments that have taken place over the course of the height of the pandemic. With Chloe’s mother’s permission, our school family began to pray for her by name every day during our morning prayer: the Novena to St. Therese (a tradition passed on from the heritage of St. Mary School). We also remember to hold her mom close in our hearts during our afternoon prayer: the Prayer of St. Francis (a tradition passed on from the heritage of Blessed Sacrament). We hadn’t heard much about Chloe’s mom for a while, but we kept praying.
On the afternoon of October 30th, after I dismissed Chloe as the last student from our school yard, she called my name and held her mom’s hand as she dashed back toward me. “My mom’s cancer is gone!” Chloe exclaimed. Chloe’s mom, tears flowing down her smiling face, managed to nod her head enthusiastically and say, “Mrs. Chodkowski, I just came back from the doctor. It’s true! It’s those prayers from the school, and I knew we had to tell you!” As you can imagine, my tears began to flow quite readily as well, both knowing the genuine gratitude of this precious family at the miracle they received, and the unmatched power of children’s prayers. On Monday morning, I visited Chloe’s classroom and asked her to share with her fifth grade peers her special news. “My mom was healed!” Chloe shouted, and her classmates (both on-site and remote learners) applauded out loud. This, dear friends, was a moment that none of us will soon forget. It was a moment among many that define us as the quintessentially Catholic school that we are today.
This year, I invite you to prayerfully consider making a gift to help us to continue making memories like this one. You are an integral part of our story, our Mission, our fiber. Making our STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) program readily available to our incredibly diverse student body is changing lives every single day. Our children are innovators, inventors, engineers, problem-solvers, and critical thinkers. Perhaps children in other schools are too, but we have the privilege of a fundamental difference: bringing our Catholic faith to the forefront of every single engineering design challenge, coding exercise, quiz, read-aloud, and robotics lesson. Their dedicated teachers breathe life into our classrooms in ways that were never possible when we were children, and I ask for your support in helping us to continue making the Brass City’s Catholic STREAM Academy a beacon of light among us.
With my love and gratitude,
Mrs. Christa Chodkowski, Principal (SMS ‘97)