On a cold and blustery Friday (11/12/21), the Academy 9th grade boys shivered their ways onto the bus for an outing to Council Grove, Ks. We explored the history of the small town (pop. 2,140), learning that this area was an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail. It was here that setters, cattlemen, explorers, businessmen, etc. would stop to reload on supplies before heading West to make their fortunes.
Before that, though, in history came a name especially familiar to Catholics in St. Mary’s – Father Juan De Padilla. He had come to bring the Faith to the Native Americans, and just outside of Council Grove, on a lonely, windswept hill is a monument that indicates this may have been where the good Father was possibly martyred. The boys and their sponsors, Mr. Ben Strong and Mr. Frank Mioni, sped to the top, where we took a few moments to savor the very long view (watching, possibly, stray and straggling snowflakes fall), and to pray for the Holy Souls and the intercession of Father De Padilla.
The boys braved the elements to eat sack lunches on the very nice Neosho Riverwalk – and then exuberantly rolled down the steep embankment, blowing off youthful energy. As their lead sponsor, I thanked God for no major injuries, for some students did not “roll” as well as they tumbled!
The last stop was to fill up on sweets (cold makes one very hungry!), and what better way to get warm than to stop at the local Dairy Queen before the trip home.
It was an enjoyable day, and, hopefully, the curiosity of the students was sparked about the role of the Santa Fe Trail, and the faithful Franciscan who came before.
by Mrs. Kim Moreno ~ Language Arts teacher, SMAC