When we think of Miracles we often expect heavenly encounter or a supernatural event. To be sure, these types of interventions do happen. God does send angels to rescue people. At times, we entertain angels when he visits us as a poor stranger. But most times, miracles are veiled…hidden in the mist of normal people working in and through the normal structures of society. God places people together who are focused on a selfless goal. Each person gives of their talent and/or treasure. Little “coincidences” occur and new life begins to blossom in a hopeless situation. It all happens so slowly and through such normal means that we miss it….a miracle has occurred.
When Fr Richard invited the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1997 it seemed like a normal administrative change which happens from time to time. But, this was an part of a series of events that changed the future of Our Lady of Mt Carmel school and the neighborhood. Fr Richard and the school alumni association were able to form a School Foundation to raise money for the inner city school. The Sisters created a truly Catholic culture by emphasizing academic discipline and character development in the OLMC students.
By the time the Early Childhood Center was built in 1999, the School was well on it’s way to becoming one of the best elementary schools in the city of Cleveland. OLMC students began to gain a reputation for being well prepared for and even excelling in high school. Schools such as Ignatius, Benedictine, Magnificat, and St Edwards were eager to accept such excellent candidates formed in a Mercedarian Catholic culture.
Over the years, much has changed in the neighborhood. What was once an economically depressed part of the city is now a revitalized arts district, Gordon Square. With all the changes, Our Lady of Mt Carmel School is still providing a Catholic liberal arts education that forms the entire person. The school instills traditional Catholic values in a nurturing environment. The staff includes a combination of Mercedarian sisters and lay teachers. There is a full day/full week Preschool and Kindergarten which has the Ohio Department of Education’s Step Up to Quality Preschool designation.
Amazingly, OLMC is the highest scoring Catholic school for state testing in the city of Cleveland. We have a new State-of-the-art STREAM learning lab; cutting-edge computer technology and equipment, including 1:1 classroom Chromebooks in Grades 3-8 and all classes with interactive televisions.
It is so many of the “extras” that make the school so good. Such as foreign language program for K-8th grade. The balanced school calendar which optimizes learning. And a after-school care and extracurricular activities.
Nestled behind the Church on 70th Street is a little Miracle. An elementary school that has been a part of the rebirth of a neighbor. It continues to give low and high income students the same holistic Catholic education. Thank God for inspiring good people and giving them the grace to do great things…and even some miracles!