Half a century or so ago, around St. Scholastica’s Golden
Jubilee, I recall hearing my aunties and grand-aunties
and their friends talk with glee of "Baday” and "Burging” and some such unfamiliar names – and have a lot of
fun as they recalled stories surrounding these characters and
"those times”. Several years later, as a Scholastican
myself, I learned some of those "secrets”. "Baday” was
Sister Willibalda, the first directress –and probably, in
those times, also principal and prefect - so named, I
understand, by boys who were friends of our Scholasticans.
"Burging” was Sister Withburga, the first dean of SSC.
Both Sisters held their positions for many, many generations
Those names, and
similar others, bring back for Scholasticans "times” and "values learned” which
have become timeless and of immeasurable value in their life.
Discipline is one such word, at times said with fun – and filled with
memories of "impossible” situations and happenings! – and yet with appreciation
and acknowledged "that one would not exchange it for anything!”
Propagation of the Faith is another. They were societies
Scholasticans got into; but much more than that: these have instilled in their
hearts that love that weathers every storm, that is the light in the darkest
night; the only hope in the depth of despair.
Fifty years later and
more, these names are hardly heard on Scholastican lips. But through the
years that I have been a Scholastican, from pre-Kinder to College graduate to
even a Sister, now, there is something I see that is dateless – or, if one likes
to say it, is "a hundred years old and more”. It has been there a
hundred years ago, and it is here now – a hundred years hence. What is
discipline for? What is the Sodality for? Or the Propagation of the
Faith? The Social Action, or the Lay Apostolate? Teaching in the
public schools? Doing Social Action work in St. Stephen’s Patronage?
Visiting the children in Welfarville? Or the "riles”? Volunteering
for Lay Apostolate? Or even one’s original research work? Why
original? Why not copy? What was the Honor’s System for? No
proctors – but no cheaters either?
Little actions… big
actions. What was behind them all? The indefinable Something
that one calls SCHOLASTICAN. It is a Person – that stands for what is
right, and good, and worthy; for Excellence in service. A Person Whom we
call upon several times a day: "That in all things GOD may be glorified!”