St. John Neumann School in Farragut celebrated a special votive Mass on Dec. 10 to commemorate the conclusion of the Year of St. Joseph. The school thought it would be a good opportunity to celebrate a student who has consistently demonstrated the qualities of St. Joseph throughout the last year.
“We were delighted to choose a student who joined our school as a new seventh-grader in 2020. She has been an incredible addition to our community; she is a quiet leader, humble, but at the same time strong and courageous. In addition to being an excellent student, she is in large part responsible for the success of our varsity volleyball team, where she served as captain,” the school stated in a press release.
St. John Neumann pastor Father Joe Reed presented the award to eighth-grader Sophie Meyer with the following words:
“A little over a year ago, Pope Francis called for a year to honor St. Joseph and to remember him as an example. Such holy years are a common, if irregular, occurrence in the Church. We celebrate a saint or a virtue for a year—not so that we are done with the celebration, but in order to call to mind the diversity of gifts and calls in the Christian life. For this year of St. Joseph, we thought it a great opportunity to highlight one student who shares some of the traits of St. Joseph in their own way.
“The image we’ve chosen for this award represents the heart of St. Joseph. In Catholic devotional art we often see three hearts together, the Sacred Heart of Jesus accompanied by the hearts of Mary and Joseph. Each of these three hearts is represented with a flame on top—these flames represent charity, or love, because, as Scripture tells us, ‘God is love.’ The lily is one of the symbols of St. Joseph. He is known for his charity, his simplicity, and his gentle fatherly care.
“In his letter about St. Joseph, Pope Francis reminds us of many of St. Joseph’s characteristics: St. Joseph is accepting, creatively courageous, hardworking, and self-giving. This student has shown herself to be accepting of others, and it seems as though she has been here for years. She is able to problem solve and adapt quickly. On the court and in the classroom, she has proven herself a hard worker. And she is generous in the amount of effort she puts into her teamwork and in gently coaching others. It is our honor to present this award in honor of St. Joseph to Sophie Meyer.