Dear Brother Martin Community:
I hope and pray that you and your family are doing well during this challenging time.
I am happy to write to you today even amidst the uncertainty that we face in our community, our country, and our world at this time. The Brother Martin community is one of togetherness, shared values, and hope. We have a history--going back to the early 1800s and the life of our founder Father Andre Coindre--of facing adversity with initiative, determination, resilience, and faith. I come to you today with the call for these same qualities to see us through a time that challenges us like never before. In addition to what you are contending within your own personal and professional lives at this time, I want to assure you that Brother Martin is here to provide a constant source of focus and hope. To this end, I would like to provide you with some updates.
Under Principal Ryan Gallagher’s leadership, we are heading into our third week of online learning with our Crusader students. We take this responsibility to form your sons academically and intellectually with a deep commitment to our mission--to provide religious values, academic excellence, personal attention, and friendly discipline. All of our faculty are working hard to accomplish two goals: to continue to help your sons learn and grow in their academic disciplines and to evangelize to your sons God’s love through their personal attention and commitment to quality remote learning. Using a collaborative approach among members of each department and with the members of the school’s administration, our faculty members strive to give you their best. Even though they do not see your sons in person in these days and weeks, we know that they are available and ready to help should you or your son have any concerns. If you should have any questions about your son’s academic work, please make sure to contact his teacher(s) through our school email. If you would like assistance beyond what the individual teacher has provided, please email Mrs. Broussard, our Academic Assistant Principal, or Thomas Mavor and Melanie Williams, our Directors of Faculty Formation. (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Guidance and Formation Center
Our guidance and academic assistance services are ready to help. They are mere emails, Schoology messages, or a phone call away. The Formation Center continues to provide personalized help and, with the referrals from teachers and parents, is “open for formation and tutoring,” albeit online. In addition, if either you or your son is experiencing emotional concerns or anxieties at this time, our guidance counselors are here for you. As the days of remote learning and “shelter in place” continue, do not hesitate to ask Brother Martin for any help in terms of emotional health and guidance. The Guidance Office will provide an extensive resource update to be sent globally on Friday.
School Events/School Closure
While we are away from our campus and at home, all school events beyond the academic day have been cancelled through Tuesday, April 14th. We may have to adjust our school calendar, considering that just last night President Trump announced that he is extending the social distancing guidelines until April 30th. We will update you on those details when we have more concrete information. Some events will be rescheduled, but these new dates are not available until we know from Governor Edwards and the Coronavirus Task Force when it is absolutely safe to resume normal meetings, competitions, and celebrations. Please know that our upcoming senior events--Senior Prom, the Leadership Celebration, Graduation Mass, and Graduation--remain our top priority as culminating events for the Class of 2020. At this time, we simply do not know whether these events can continue as originally scheduled or if they will have to be postponed. No matter what, we will find a way--an appropriate date and place--to celebrate with our seniors and their parents to mark the end of their Brother Martin career. Upcoming summer events, such as Summer Enrichment, the 8th grade trip, and the College Run, remain on our calendar on their originally scheduled dates, as of now. If changes are warranted, we will review and communicate changes to you as soon as we know of any.
Currently, there are no regular office hours at 4401 Elysian Fields. Immediately after school was furloughed, our campus was cleaned and disinfected and has been practically empty now for two weeks. Prior to our reopening--at whatever date that will be--we will clean and disinfect the buildings once again to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
Our Finance Department is still at work remotely from their homes. They are still responding to parents and vendors as usual. We are currently getting ready to review requests for financial aid for the 2020-2021 school year. If you have any questions about this process or FACTS, the financial aid application form, please contact Mr. Carroll Bourlet at email@example.com.
In a time of great fluidity, where information and guidelines change daily and sometimes hourly, I hope this letter has answered some questions you may have about our fourth quarter at Brother Martin High School. It’s hard to make sense of this unprecedented worldwide health concern much less be able to plan with certainty the days and nights of all of our “normal” schedules. Please know that all of us here at Brother Martin are pledged to do what we have always done for over 150 years in New Orleans: to form your sons holistically and prepare them not only for a living, but for a life.
In his recent “Urbi et orbi” blessing to an empty St. Peter Square in Vatican City, Pope Francis delivered these words: “How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility? How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer? How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all?” As challenging as it may be, we pray that all find hope amidst the darkness. Father Andre Coindre did it during the French Revolution, and we can and will do it again in 2020 amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Hope must never be lost!
Ametur Cor Jesu… Ametur Cor Mariae!
Greg Rando ‘77