“When there is something wrong with your kid, it’s all encompassing,” Arielle Lindner says, expressing a feeling about which far too many parents can relate. In this case, David and Arielle Lindner’s only son Alfie had rapidly changed into a child so unlike the one she had been raising, she knew something was amiss—and she was determined to get to the bottom of it.

“I really do believe God gives us the children we are supposed to have,” she says. Arielle has a degree in medical anthropology, which not only studies medicine throughout history but is also a comparative study of the practice of medicine across cultures, giving Arielle the background she needed to tackle the problem at hand.

In Alfie’s case, his usual behaviors had given way to hyperactivity and the feeling of emotional overwhelm, particularly after the school day was through. Hearing issues had also come to the fore, beginning with a six month stretch of deafness. The family had moved from New Jersey to be closer to David’s mother, who had moved to South Carolina and had then been widowed. They chose a Montessori school nearby, primarily because of one particularly gifted teacher.

By the time the Lindners had gotten to the bottom of the mystery, they knew they were dealing with the aftermath of a medical adverse event and a son who was not thriving at his unstructured school. The teacher that had drawn them to the school in the first place was no longer there, to boot. Very importantly, they knew they wanted a Catholic school that would provide Alfie with exemplary faith formation. They set forth to find a school that would provide that formation, accommodate special needs, and offer strong structure.

David and Arielle began touring Catholic schools in the Upstate. “When we got to Prince of Peace, it was just an instant, ‘Oh, this is it,’” Arielle says. Prince of Peace had recently hired special education teacher Ms. Krista Pfaff, and the support she offered for students with special needs, offered a key part of the puzzle. It was obvious the school had the sort of structure Alfie needed, and “we love Father Smith,” Arielle says, complimenting his vision for the school and his strong leadership.

While the Lindners had high hopes for what the school would do for Alfie, the reality exceeded their expectations. “Instead of him getting into the car after school upset, he gets into the car and says, ‘Today was amazing!’ or ‘I love Mrs. Avery!’” Arielle says. “At first I was like, ‘Really?’ I couldn’t believe it!” But now, well into his 3rd grade year, Alfie’s newfound love of school has become normal.

The three things the family had hoped to find—faith, structure, and support—have been provided in abundance by Prince of Peace Catholic School, and Alfie is thriving.

In a final confirmation that Alfie is exactly where he should be, Arielle shares a story about her mother-in-law, who works at Hamrick’s. Over the summer, a group of women came in, looking for a certain skirt in black. When different colors were offered, the women explained they were nuns—no other colors were needed. Alfie’s grandmother excitedly told them about her grandson, who would be going to Prince of Peace Catholic School. The nuns eagerly absorbed the story and reached out to Arielle. Throughout the year, Arielle has provided the nuns with updates about Alfie’s progress at Prince of Peace, and the nuns have kept him in their prayers. “If you’re looking for a sign he’s in the right place, I can’t think of a better one than that,” Arielle concludes.