Our Lady of Grace students give thanks for late teacher's example
Pictured above: The late Joan Regan, a teacher at Our Lady of Grace School, smiles with student Caroline Crater during a field trip in this file photo. (Photo courtesy of Leslie Hannon)
Joan Regan passed away suddenly last month
GREENSBORO — Students, faculty and staff of Greensboro's Our Lady of Grace School gathered outside on a beautiful fall day for a living rosary Oct. 6. This is an annual tradition for our school, but this year the gathering was especially meaningful for all of us.
On Sept. 27, our tight-knit community lost one of our beloved teachers: Joan Regan, who taught at OLG for more than 15 years. She had been diagnosed with lymphoma less than a month before, and her rapid passing shook our community hard.
On the morning of Sept. 28, Father John Eckert of Our Lady of Grace Church gathered our school community together for prayer. Joining him to care for our community were Father Fidel Melo and Father Chris Davis of Our Lady of Grace Church; and Father John Allen, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Greensboro. They all cleared their calendars for the day to walk among our children and staff – praying with us, talking with us and comforting us all.
As we returned from our prayer service, counselors from nearby St. Pius X, Our Lady of Mercy and St. Leo schools, as well as Greensboro Day School, arrived – they too had cleared their calendars for the day to offer comfort to our students.
The OLG School family was deeply touched by the love and support shown to us. Throughout the week, parents brought in food, alumni called to inquire about what they could do to help, and children wrote heartfelt letters to the Regan family about the impact this devoted teacher had on them.
The message was clear: In times of sorrow, God remains present to comfort through the loving arms of so many. Perhaps this was Mrs. Regan's last gift to Our Lady of Grace School, a place that she was so devoted to in life. In her death, we were reminded that we are a community based on faith and love. And while we work hard to offer our children an enriching and academically challenging curriculum, we also are offering them a faith that will see them through wherever their journey in life takes them.
So on Oct. 6, the OLG community gathered with truly thankful hearts to begin the living rosary with this: "We offer a prayer of thanksgiving for having had the loving presence of Mrs. Regan in our lives. She was a living example of the love of Mary, through both her love of Christ and her love of others. Like Mary, Mrs. Regan had a strong faith and trust in God. Like Mary, she was a gentle mother to each of her students, a quiet light in our school family, and a peaceful dove to each of us. In thanksgiving, we pray...."
— Karen L. Hornfeck, special to the Catholic News Herald
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