The National Catholic Review

When I was in high school, I was responsible to deliver the morning announcements over the intercom system. This seemed to be an awesome responsibility at the time, and I reveled in that my voice boomed the vital pronoucements such as upcoming student council meetings and permission slip due dates. The day before Thanksgiving my senior year, the principal of my public school slipped me a folded piece of paper, and said, "Read this today. If anyone asks, it was your idea, and I knew nothing about it." I thought it odd, but threw it in the pile of papers, and began reading. When I got to the folded paper, I read it in my head, then to the school. It said,

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
Sing praises to his name; he forgets not his own.

Indeed, we gather together today to ask the Lord's blessing, and to offer our gratitude for all that we treasure in our lives. Let us remeber also those who go without today. Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Comments

Anonymous | 11/28/2010 - 10:05am
I have three short comments about the display of religion in public places
 
First, I was at the checkout at SAM's the other day and religious music was playing in the store.  One of two people at the checkout was humming along with the hymn.  I think it was the ''First Noel.''  I mentioned to her that she would not hear that song in public schools and it took a few seconds for her to acknowledge that as true as she thought about it. 
 
 
Second, a little girl I know started first grade in Catholic schools a short time ago and she said to me that she could now pray in school.  She was not allowed to she said to do this in her kindergarten which was at the local public school.  I was taken aback by this insight by a six year old.
 
 
Third, we recently attended the Christmas special at Radio City Music Hall and it is a series of short song and dance acts all around a Christmas theme.  What surprised me was that here in atheistic New York was a 10 minute or longer Nativity tableau complete with several religious hymns praising Christ as the King of the Jews/Israel (First Noel, Hark the Hearld Angels Sing, We Three Kings).  I was surprised by the overtly religious nature of the scene in an area that openly minimizes or disdains religion.