Leaving the High School for CYO/Camp Howard

October 25, 2020

6 days till National Vocation Awareness Week

#19 in a series of 25 short stories

During my last two years at Valley Catholic High School I was Vice Principal and Athletic Director.  Weekend events and weekday meetings kept me very busy.  Serving on the board at CYO/CH was eye opening to me as I had never had experiences with the organization other than reading about it in the Catholic Sentinel.

I had no intention of leaving the high school and would have been content to get my 50-year pin there.  I loved the school and being a part of the happenings there.  God had other plans for me, however, and when God calls, he always lays out a perfect plan.  At the end of two years on the board I had helped clean up some messes that were the result of poor leadership.  The board asked me if I would consider taking on leadership of the organization and I had to do some soul searching.  I was very comfortable at Valley Catholic, on campus, close to home, easily able to handle the conflict at this point in my life…God had me right where he wanted me, ready for the next assignment!

At the end of the 1997 school year, I said goodbye to a lot of great people whom I had worked with for many years.  It was terribly hard for me to leave the school.  I had gone from brand new teacher to the inner workings of administration.  I had a perspective and vision that 15 years at an institution can bring merely through experience with a wide variety of situations.   I was writing databases on a new program called “Filemaker” that I purchased at Egg Head Software.  AOL was just getting a good start in the tech world.  CYO/Camp Howard did not have a computer yet.

I was moving from second line administration to first line where the buck stops here.  Fortunately, I knew the board members well, and they were great people.  I was about to get a look from the inside out and what I would find was not pretty. 

  • I spent the time from 1997 through 2001 outside of the community of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.  I returned July 26, 2001 on the feast of St. Anne.  I helped with family issues at this time and lived with my mother, Cynthia, in Hazeldale, WA.

Vocation awareness comment:  We are all called to a vocation whether it be marriage, single life, priestly life or religious life. 

One thought on “Leaving the High School for CYO/Camp Howard

  1. Hi Sr. Krista–My teen daughter (at the time) & I lived with & cared for my Mom from 2006-2010. Mom had dementia due to lots of little strokes & congestive heart failure. I had taken a leave of absence from teaching to care for Mom. I could only do a year’s leave so when Mom was still hanging in there in Summer 2007, I had to resign from my teaching position. I had the blessing to care for both my Mom & Dad when they were dying.

    Mom & I cared for Dad. He had mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos on the job throughout his career. He was diagnosed near Thanksgiving & passed away on July 14, 1986 (the day after my 30th birthday & in that year on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel).

    Mom lived far longer after her dementia & congestive heart failure diagnosis. It was a honor to care for them both and to be at their beside praying the rosary as they passed. Hospice of Marin was extremely helpful in both situations. When I retire, I may volunteer at a hospice organization. This is another situation in which I hear, “If I don’t do it, who will?” I’m probably retiring from teaching June 2021.
    Good Afternoon & God Bless,
    Denise Holladay


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