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Be a Pelican in the Desert!

Have you ever wondered why St. Thomas Aquinas School ended up with the pelican as a school mascot?

The pelican was adopted in our school’s first year in the fall of 2000.  Students were able to submit ideas for a school-wide mascot vote; and, so many choices were offered from angels to saints. Then, along came the pelican to win by a landslide. John Yarbrough (class of 2004) presented a moving speech about the meaning of a Pelican. History was made, and STAS became The Pelicans!

For hundreds of years, the pelican has been a symbol of Christ and the Holy Catholic Church. A thousand years ago, people would watch pelicans preen their feathers and the oils on their skin would stain their breast feathers red. The mother and father pelicans would feed their baby chicks with their long beaks. Everyone thought that the pelican would do anything to keep their babies alive - even feed them with their own blood. This image became a major symbol of Christ feeding us with His Precious Blood. If you look around many old cathedrals, you will see mosaics and stained glass images of pelicans.

The pelican’s legacy has become one that represents love, caring for others, and the sacrifices that a mother and father make for their children.

Pelicans are amazing creatures. Their wingspan can be up to 12 feet long! They can fly 10,000 feet in the air, despite their large size and sometimes awkward looks. They are great swimmers and can dive 5 feet under water to fish. Their long beaks are like harpoons, but their pouches also hold 3 gallons of water. The birds are found on every continent except Antarctica. Mother and father pelicans share equally in caring for their young. They keep their chicks fed and safe until they can fly from the nest to reach their own great heights. Pelicans can live in groups and are known as a squadron of Pelicans. These great birds hunt together and are a resourceful team!

The lesson then is to be a Pelican! Be strong. Don’t be afraid of great heights or being under water. Take care of one another as Christ loves you. Be a Pelican in the Desert!