Kendall Kasper, seventh grader in St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square, pauses for a photo after a surprise September dinner with Dr. Jason C. Briggs, school principal. Kasper was hospitalized Oct. 13 after an emergency medical event and awaits brain surgery this week. Photo courtesy of St. Gregory the Great Academy Facebook page
Kendall Kasper, seventh grader in St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square, pauses for a photo after a surprise September dinner with Dr. Jason C. Briggs, school principal. Kasper was hospitalized Oct. 13 after an emergency medical event and awaits brain surgery this week. Photo courtesy of St. Gregory the Great Academy Facebook page

Kendall Kasper, seventh grader in St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square, underwent a several-hour brain surgery Oct. 19 in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to remove blood vessels that caused a brain bleed Oct. 13 which necessitated emergency treatment.

"Surgery is complete, and she has the best possible result," the school's Facebook page reported. "There is a significant period of recovery ahead, but all signs indicate that Kendall will make a full recovery. Kendall's family is very grateful to all of the prayer warriors from the SGGA community and beyond who have been praying for Kendall these past several days."

When Kasper was brought to the hospital Oct. 13 for emergency medical attention, her fellow students and teachers in St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square, responded immediately with spiritual support.

“We have Mass every Friday, and after morning Mass on the 14th I asked the seventh grade to remain behind,” said Dr. Jason C. Briggs, principal. “I took them to the chapel and explained what was going on, and we took some time for additional prayer… we’ve done our best to let everyone know of the need for prayer, and to remember that we are above all a Catholic school – [a praying community] is who we are.”

Anticipating the surgery date on Oct. 17, the school community prayed a Rosary together that day. When the surgery was rescheduled, Dr. Briggs said they would plan another community Rosary to coincide with the procedure, “since it’s the month of the Rosary.”

“I explained to the seventh graders, we always invoke the Blessed Mother during times of sorrow,” he continued, “because she knows better than anyone – she stood at the foot of the Cross – she’s the perfect person to invoke for prayers.”

Additionally, Dr. Briggs wrote a prayer for the occasion that the school and St. Gregory the Great Parish community – of which the Kasper family are members – have been praying daily. That prayer is posted on the St. Gregory the Great Academy Facebook page.

Despite being nervous and uncomfortable, Kendall was able to speak following her initial procedure and “according to her mom, the prognosis is good,” Dr. Briggs noted. “This sort of thing has to take its medical course, and the one thing the family asked for was prayers from our community. One of the special things about being part of a Catholic school community is that we can rally around and lift up our students with prayer.”