In the summer of 2018, we had heard through our Catholic community that Holy Name was making plans to reopen their high school. Although we are from Marquette and our son was only going to be entering the 7th grade that year, we were looking forward to his high school education. Catholic education has always been our priority for him and the possibility of a Catholic high school opening up in the Upper Peninsula was exciting.
Desiring to know more about the prospect of a Catholic high school reopening in Escanaba, we made an appointment to meet with Principal Joe Carlson that fall. The moment we entered the school, we were immediately drawn to its unique and peaceful atmosphere. From the genuine sincerity with which we were welcomed by the staff, to the religious images that lined the hallways and rooms, to the reverence that even the littlest children showed as they passed in front of Our Lord in the tabernacle in the beautiful school chapel, everything drew us in to want to know more.
During our visit, Principal Carlson shared the vision of reopening the high school and the work that had been done thus far to put the plan in motion. Ultimately, Principal Carlson said, the timing for the school to reopen was up to God. Our visit to the school and our conversation with Mr. Carlson was an excellent experience. Both of us came away from the visit so impressed by the authentic, faith-filled environment of the school as well as by the leadership and we were hopeful that reopening Holy Name Catholic High School would be a part of God’s plan.
As the months passed, we prayerfully kept watch for news about the progress of the capital campaign and we periodically touched base with Principal Carlson. That summer, we recalled our visit to Holy Name and felt drawn to take one more look—this time at the middle school. We toured the school with our son, and following the tour our positive impressions about Holy Name were reaffirmed. As we walked out of the school, our son turned to us and simply said, “I want to go here”. He was drawn in by what was going on there too. Doors were opened, we walked through, and he attended Holy Name for his 8th grade year.
Holy Name is everything we had hoped for and more. First and foremost, the opportunity for young people to learn in an environment that is steeped in the Catholic faith is such a blessing. The teaching and reinforcement of the values and virtues of the faith by the school’s unparalleled administration, knowledgeable and caring teachers, as well as exceptional support staff and coaches is so valuable. Those qualities, in combination with the elevated academic standards, athletics, as well as other extracurricular opportunities, and a solid Catholic community make attending Holy Name a truly special educational experience.
We are so grateful for our time at Holy Name Catholic School. We continue to pray for the reopening of the high school whenever that fits into God’s plan. What a gift and a blessing it would be for the Upper Peninsula to have a faith-filled Catholic high school to continue to educate and prepare young people for the doors waiting to open for them.