Give a true gift this holiday season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sister Mary Evangelist, a Dominican nun who taught me in the seventh grade at St. Peter School in Reserve, had a big influence on my life. I know she didn’t weigh over 100 pounds, but she made her presence known.

She loved the Lord, disciplined

her students with love and was never intimidated by parents. Her love for Notre Dame football was evident. Knute Rockne, the legendary coach of the Irish, was one of her heroes.

I wasn’t a very good student and had a way of disrupting the class with very little effort. In February of 1947, my last year at the school, my mother was very ill, near death, and her recovery was a slow process.

One week before the last day of school, Sister Evangelist approached me after recess and said, “Young man, the only reason I’m promoting you is because of your mother’s health.”

She was a great teacher who taught more than academics. She gave us valuable lessons in life.

As we begin the Christmas Season, I’m reminded of her telling us that this time of the year is the loneliest time for families who have lost loved ones or those separated from each other, the homeless, those confined to bed due to illness, families suffering because of financial problems, those who are incarcerated and have no visitors, abused children and the terminally ill.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize what she meant. I think that one of the greatest problems in America is loneliness.

This holiday season I’ve made a commitment to be aware of the

lonely in our community. I’ve asked God to direct me to someone who might just need an encouraging word, a visit or a phone call. Just think! Reaching out in such a

manner doesn’t cost anything and might be the one thing that will make the difference in a lonely person’s life.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: