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“We have much to be thankful for.”

Thanksgiving 2020

“Gratitude at its deepest level embraces all of life with thanksgiving: the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, the holy and the not so holy… I am gradually learning that the call to gratitude asks us to say, ‘Everything is grace. “  Henri Nouwen

The popular narrative for Thanksgiving this year has framed it through the lens of loss – the inability to gather in large family or friend groups and celebrate as we otherwise would.  That certainly is true; the pandemic has made it so.  However, that somber view risks ignoring what makes Thanksgiving so special:  the opportunity to reflect in gratitude on the blessings and goodness present daily in our lives.  Unlike other years, where we may have been tempted to take those blessings for granted, Thanksgiving 2020 offers us a special, perhaps even poignant opportunity to reflect on the many things for which we are grateful – family, friends, home, experiences – through a different more considered lens that lifts us up, offers us hope, and helps us to see beyond the fears and anxieties that have reshaped our lives since last spring.

We have much to be thankful for at Saint John’s Prep, particularly in this most unusual of years. I am grateful for our students, who bring energy, joy and curiosity to school each day, whether in-person or online. I am grateful for our talented faculty and staff, who create wonderful learning experiences for our students and daily share their gifts to mentor and teach.  I am grateful for the parents and families who support our students and our school and have entrusted us with the care of their children.  And I am grateful for the alumni and friends who support and sustain our school, ensuring that Prep continues to provide vibrant, transformational experiences for generations to come.

Fr. Don Talafous, OSB, daily writes marvelous reflections about the challenges and triumphs of everyday life.  He recently wrote that “[i]f we start with the basic premise that life itself is a gift, not something we produced, we have a basis for looking at everything with thanksgiving.  And the result of that is happiness…[H]appiness is the by-product of work well done, life well lived, love and appreciation generously given.”  What a wonderful antidote to challenging times.  And a reminder that we must embrace thanksgiving and gratitude with a spirit of love and hope.

In this season of gratitude, I wish our entire community the joy of thanksgiving, the happiness of family, the blessings of life and the grace of hope.


Jon McGee
Head of School
Saint John’s Preparatory School

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