60 Years of Actions Not Words

60 Years of Actions, Not Words

By Sister Connie Craig
Society of the Holy Child Jesus

The Sisters of the Holy Child first arrived in the northwest DC area in 1954. They came to staff Annunciation, a newly opening parish school. For many years, they worked at Annunciation with the assistance of four lay teachers, always with an eye to finding a place for their own high school.

That place was ultimately found in Potomac, with two adjoining houses. One house became a convent for the nuns.
A smaller one became a library and a couple of classrooms. The original school was completed and ready to open when the first class entered. It contained five classrooms, a science lab, and a cafeteria. There was no gym, but rather a field with high grass and a basketball court. Gym, as it was then called, was basketball every day. When it was too cold outside, they would lay gym mats on the bottom floor of the house and the students would do somersaults.

Sixteen girls entered (of which thirteen graduated) and these were the ones who began the traditions. There were class plays, Carol Night, and Prophesies and Predictions in a formal ceremony at the end of the year. On Carol Night, the girls started at the end of the driveway and walked up to the convent singing carols. The nuns were waiting, standing on their upper deck. As the girls sang, the nuns threw pennies. They all joined together in the convent for   eggnog and cookies.

All students arrived at school in perfect uniform, wearing a bolero jacket. Upon reaching their lockers, they took off the bolero jacket and put on a brown sweater, which they wore through the day. At dismissal, it was back to the locker to return the brown sweater and wear the bolero home.

There are many stories of those early years. We marvel at the sixteen girls who entered a brand new school. They really were important in establishing the future traditions of the school. We are grateful for their risk and their contributions in forming the early traditions of Holy Child.

By Karen Craig
Social Studies Teacher

I have had the privilege of working on the past three Mission Effectiveness Steering Committees, and most recently, I have been Connelly School of the Holy Child’s representative to the Network Mission Effectiveness Committee. These experiences have been so valuable in understanding the big picture of Holy Child. I wanted to share this with the students, whom I believe sometimes only have a very general understanding of what it means to be a Holy Child school. While they know our Holy Child as well as any of us, the fact that there are dozens of other Network schools with the same Goals and Mission can be overlooked – and I believe that is part of the gift of Mission Effectiveness. That is why I launched a Student Mission Effectiveness Council this year. SMEC (as it’s affectionately known) is made up of representatives from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes. Students had to apply to be on the Council and, already this year, have presented to a Board of Trustees meeting and led prayer services on the first three Goals: Faith, Community, and Learning. In the following pages, you can see that they have also reflected on what each of the Goals means to them. Others have reached out to interview alumnae about a particular Goal and how that Goal has impacted them after graduation. It is my hope that SMEC will encourage all Holy Child students to feel the connections within our school and within the Network. 

“First to bear adversities with endurance—then with willingness—then with joy.”
-Cornelia Connelly