An Aristocrat and Four Nuns Walk into a Carnival

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The aristocrat: Lord David Alton of Liverpool, member of the British Parliament, global advocate for the unborn, the poor, and religious liberty.

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The four nuns: visiting Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth, from a contemplative Franciscan community, our neighbors in upstate Pennsylvania.

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The carnival: the annual highlight of the Oreland social calendar - the place to see and be seen - our friends at Holy Martyrs parish have packed the school parking lot all week with their carnival gear. Our students have volunteered to help and clambered aboard the rides. Yes, that was Deacon Roberts calling bingo all week.

Here's how it all fits together: Lord Alton is visiting this country, rallying Catholics to find the courage to be "a sign of contradiction," to resist drifting with the culture, to stand for the truth. At home in London, he's been fighting abortion since the 1970's, and more lately opposing scientists creating human-animal hybrid embryos for their experiments. Around the world, he's an indefatigable leader for religious liberty, smuggling Bibles into North Korea, assisting Bishops whose churches were bombed in South Sudan, helping journalists tell stories of Christian persecution in the Middle East and Pakistan. He is a modern day profile in courage. He met with our students for nearly two hours this week to tell them about his life, and to encourage them that God has given each one of them a unique task, a vocation and service, some way to give their lives away and, in so doing, become truly themselves.

Two days later, the Capuchin Sisters met with our Martin Saints girls, while Fr. Stephen Delacy met with our boys. Again, the theme was vocations: listening to your life, listening for God, listening to what makes our hearts burn, and how God might be calling us in some particular way to serve the Kingdom.

"The Glory of God is man fully alive." Words to live by, and the Martin Saint's motto. To be fully alive in Christ means that our faith isn't just some hobby, something we compartmentalize or "balance." Eat ice cream or drink coffee in moderation, but faith is everything. Lord Alton quoted C.S. Lewis: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

This is what we teach at Martin Saints. Academic excellence - of course! - but as a byproduct of our zeal and enthusiasm for everything that is good, true, and beautiful. If we set our hearts on that, life opens up as an adventure, and everything else falls into place. There is a time to serve and be courageous, there is a time to contemplate and study, there is a time to delight and play.

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Come feast with us on all this goodness. There is room at our table for your son or daughter.

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Our next admissions open house will be Tuesday, October 22nd, at 7pm. In the meantime, please call (267-495-4865) or email our board present, Deacon Roberts, or our headmaster, Mr. Adam Dickerson, anytime.