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Duchesne students after the revelation of Congé.
My favorite line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is when Ferris and Cameron are in the middle of their “Ferris Day” watching the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field when Ferris yells to Cameron over the crowd noise, “Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now, we’d be in gym?” John Hughes nailed the sentiment students sometimes feel, and students have been celebrating Ferris Days ever since.
But last week, at Duchesne, we do what we do every year. We turned the Ferris Day on its head. Last Thursday, Jan. 30, was Sister Caire’s 90th birthday. To celebrate, the whole school came together on the newly-minted Agee field to celebrate our beloved RSCJ on her special day. We stopped classes and everyone was there together, united as a school. Many gave speeches about how much Sister Caire means to the community, and what a wonderful person she is, as she was one of the very first teachers at Duchesne.
At the end, Sister said, “You get to do a lot when you’re 90. You get to announce that its Congé.” At this moment, the entire campus erupted with a thunderous cheer that could be heard blocks away. Students and faculty were rejoicing because they knew it wasn’t just any regular day, it was Congé - a Ferris Day, but with a different purpose.
Congé is a special day planned by the seniors, where all classes are cancelled, and the students get a day to have fun with their friends and enjoy the fun activities planned. One great thing about Congé, is that the “when” is a total and complete surprise. A secret more closely guarded than the identity of our mascot or your parents’ Amazon password. But the best part is the purpose. Instead of taking off for a frivolous day, Duchesne uses Congé to come together as a community and remember traditions from decades ago. Every sacred heart school around the world celebrates Congé, a French word that translates to vacation.
Senior Brooke Yeomans says that she thinks Congé is important to the school because “It’s a sacred heart tradition that gives everyone a day to come together as a school, and it’s fun when tests [and regular classes] are cancelled.” Congé is a day that deeply corresponds with the core beliefs of the school.
Sophomore Aly Wolf says,” I feel like it really goes with goal 4, which is the building of community, and it allows all of the grades to be together.”
Exactly! And instead of being in gym class, we were celebrating Duchesne and our sisterhood.