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Cathedral students celebrate Catholic Schools Week

Published 12:00am Thursday, January 28, 2010

NATCHEZ — Law enforcers, local leaders and a Super Bowl champion and nationally known player took over Cathedral School Wednesday as Harmony Day sessions took the place of math, language and science classes.

In conjunction with Catholic Schools Week, Cathedral’s Harmony Day has been a fixture at the school for seven years and teaches students to live in harmony with themselves while giving back to the world.

“We have 18 guest speakers who have come to share their life and their experience and their wisdom with you,” religion teacher Mike Roboski said.

“Every nine weeks, (students) are required to do community service projects.

These (guests) are examples of service.”

Roboski told students that service isn’t just something that they are required to do in their projects, but is something that continues throughout life and becomes a mission many take on as their careers.

Sessions in organ donation, theatre, personal safety, World War II, holocaust history and drug awareness were just a few of the lessons from which students had to select.

Keynote speaker, former NFL player Brian Kinchen, asked students to evaluate their wants and desires.

“Do you feel like there is something in your own life that you need to achieve or accomplish to make you feel whole, accepted or loved?” Kinchen asked. “I believe everybody does. But I’m here to tell you that there is nothing that will give you that feeling.”

Kinchen said after playing football for LSU and working hard throughout his 13-year NFL career, he learned that the only thing that truly made him feel whole was his faith.

Kinchen told students the story of his last NFL game as a long snapper — the 2003 Super Bowl with the New England Patriots against the Carolina Panthers.

Kinchen told students how he began losing his ability to snap two weeks prior to the biggest game of his life and how through his anxiety to perform, he turned everything over to God.

Kinchen said he had nothing to do with the snap that led to the last-second field goal that won his team the Vince Lombardi trophy — it was all God.

“It’s about seeing God in everything and knowing He has a purpose and a plan for your life,” Kinchen said. “Take all of that and then in everything you do, glorify Him and honor Him because that’s all that counts in the end.”

Sophomore MacArthur Doss said there is a lot of value to be found in classes taught on Harmony Day.

“(The sessions) help change your way of life like how you are supposed to live. The sessions explain what is going on in real life,” Doss said. “They give you tools to live by and help you grow throughout your life and be in full focus.”

Doss attended a session led by Bob Anastas, founder of Students Against Driving Drunk (now known as Students Against Destructive Decisions).

A best-selling author, Anastas traveled from Boston, Mass., to speak to students about how to set themselves apart from the crowd.

“The only way you can get to college is to not only have good grades, but have something else going with it — you better be good people too,” Anastas said.

Anastas said successful people compete against themselves and don’t worry about other people’s achievements, don’t do drugs or drink, get a good night’s sleep (especially before big events in their lives) and make good first impressions through the way they conduct and carry themselves.

These four characteristics that set the upper 25 percent of students apart from their peers are what Anastas said he believes to be keys to leading a successful life.