Brother Dom's Report on the First Days of School

Story by Br. Dominic Berardelli, FSC


Dear Brother Dominic,

My family thoroughly enjoyed the Freshman Orientation and Welcome last week. It was interesting, informative and inspiring, and left us feeling good about leaving our daughter in such good hands. The students, faculty and staff could not have been more helpful. They carried luggage, helped us deal with registration challenges, and always had friendly smiles. Your greetings at the registration table, watching you carry a baby around the dining area, and your prayers I will never forget. I had never heard the prayer, "Let us remember, we are in the holy presence of God." I find myself saying that throughout the day now, in the car, at work -- whenever I need a boost.


This parent’s e-mail message captures the spirit of the first days of school this fall. The Office of Parent Relations sponsored four busy and successful days of orientation for incoming students and their families.

Move-in day for frosh students was on August 25. The organization and assistance of the upper class student volunteers and leaders was amazing. As one parent remarked, “It was like checking into a five-star hotel!” At the Welcome Mass, students offered a blessing to their parents, and parents offered a blessing to their children. A barbeque in the grove next to Brother Alfred Brousseau Hall was the closing activity, then parents bid their farewells and departed, leaving their sons and daughters in our capable hands.

Many thanks to our Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Co-chairs Barbara Toole O’Neil (mother of a senior son), and Alex Visaya, Jr. (father of a junior son), whose support, time, and energy kept our efforts moving ahead.

The entire council is indispensable to our efforts. The leadership arm of the Saint Mary’s Parent Association, PAC reviews and plans programs for students along with organizing fundraising projects, such as the eScrip program. All parents and guardians of Saint Mary’s college students are welcome to join the Council. PAC meets four times a year, and all are invited to attend.

You can find meeting notices and other events of interest to parents on our Web site, Or if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by the Parent Relations office, located on the first floor of the Brother Jerome West building.

As our students settle into this new academic year, may Mary, our Patroness and Mother, intercede to God for His blessings upon them and all of you and your families.