Catholic Communications asked some students from our  Catholic schools in  the Diocese of Springfield to share their feelings of gratitude this Thanksgiving. The following are some of the sweet answers that came from them.

Kenneth Heisler of Blessed Sacrament School in Holyoke said:

I am thankful for my mother, Heidi, and my wonderful family. I’m thankful for me, that I was born.”

Kenneth Heisler

Matthew Ciesla,  a 3rd grader at St. John the Baptist School in Ludlow is so thankful he wrote a poem:

I give thanks for St. John’s, my school.
It is truly quite a jewel.
They teach me how to write and read
Math, Science, Art – all I need.

I learn to share and to be kind.
To help a friend, I never mind.
Thank you for teaching me all I need to know.
To become smarter and better as I grow.

Matthew Ciesla

 Ben LaCroix, a Kindergartener at St. John the Baptist School in Ludlow has a short but sweet sentiment.

I am thankful for my Mom and Dad.”

Ben LaCroix

 And  Emma deVillier, a 6th grader at St. Michael’s Academy in Springfield wrote an entire essay of gratitude. It is a delight to read.

Emma DeVillier

In school today, I was asked what I was thankful for. A lot of things immediatelycame to mind: my family, my friends, my teachers, my dog. But when I thought a little deeper and longer, I smiled because I had found a bigger present to be grateful for — my religion.

My religion is really at the center of everything I do. It helps me get thorugh the day when things aren’t going well. It helps me when I need to make a tough decision. It’s how I start each day, with a little prayer between Jseus and me hoping that everything goes well. It’s the conversation I have each night just befrore I go to bed. It’s what makes me special. It’s what makes me Catholic.

For me, my religion isn’t just going to church each Sunday for a short period and then forgetting about what the priest is talking about until the next Sunday. No, it’s a lot more. It’s about trying to be a better person each and every day. It’s about believing in being a better person, trying to understand the stories from the Bible and about Jesus. There are times when I have a hard time understanding all that’s being told to me, but thinking about the messages and believing that they are true as lessons to follow, somehow make it easier. That’s why I am an altar server and help out as much as I can at school and church functions. I want to be involved in my church and my religion.

In my home, our religion is very important. We go to church every Sunday, but my Mom is always reminding us to be good people and be kind to everyone each and every day. She is a great example of someone who lives a Christian lifestyle and believes her religion. I know that my parents are great role models for me and my brother and sisters because they make our home a constant reminder of how they want us to grow up as Christians practicing our faith and religion.

At Christmas time we pray bfore our manger scene for health and happiness for the coming year and each day when we have dinner together we start our meals by saying ‘Grace.’  These are little things but they remind me of just how special our religion is.

As I write this paper, there is one more thing about my religion that makes me thankful and makes me really smile. Without my religion, there would be no need for St. Michael’s Academy, my great Catholic school. It’s here to teach me about Jesus and strengthen my beliefs just like my home and family. That’s why I’m here. Yes, I am very happy and thankful for my religion and all that it gives me.