We all have families, and those of us who are very lucky have more than one.
My daughter Katie, along with my husband Ric and I have been blessed us with two school families, first at her elementary school, and now at her high school, Notre Dame Academy.
This week our school family is hurting in the wake of the death of senior, Maria Schaffstein.
The car crash which killed her also injured 5 of her friends. My daughter Katie is a sophomore at NDA, and while she doesn't know the girls well, Notre Dame is a tight-knit community, so this tragedy is affecting all of the students, their parents, teachers, and the Sisters of Notre Dame.
Prayer services this weekend were a way for the Notre Dame community to come together and hold each other. I went to one of them, and I came away so moved by the strength of the Sisters and the faith of the families whose children were injured, or in the case of the Schaffstein's, taken away from them too soon. I don't want to invade their privacy by posting what we heard at the prayer service, but I will share that NDA President Sister Shauna Bankemper talked about how the power of prayer is helping these families get through a horrific situation.
I never dreamed when I sent my daughter to Notre Dame that she and her school community would have to deal with something so sad. Parents always wish to spare their children from pain. However, I am grateful for the people leading the girls through it and showing them how to use their faith when life is difficult.
I also ask for your prayers for the families of Maria Schaffstein, Katie and Jessie Russo, Krista Noll, Catie Ammerman, Megan Berberich, Megan Downing, and Jordan Zumdick, and the entire Notre Dame community.