23 November, 2007

SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, December 4th, 7:30 p.m.

We are pleased to invite all family, friends, & special guests (readers of our blog) to a special Advent Family Prayer Service on Tuesday evening, December 4th at the St. Walburga Monastery Chapel at 7:30 p.m. The service will be approximately 45 minutes. Special Guest Artist, Rev. Matthew Labriola, will create a charcoal painting of the Nativity Scene before our very eyes as we hear the Christmas Story. Sister Germaine Fritz and our Gospel Choir will join our pianist in providing sacred music and song. This will be a Christmas event that you will always remember!
No reservations necessary. All are welcome.

Come early and join us for our annual Christmas Tree Lighting, hot chocolate & sandwiches at 6:15 p.m. across the street at Benedictine Academy School. For more information, call the Development office @ (908) 352-0670, ext. 105, 106, or 107. R.S.V.P. only for those who are planning to attend the light dinner hosted by BAPA (Parents Association)

Thanksgiving Prayer Service

Benedictine Academy's Gospel Choir and Praise Dancers
began our special Thanksgiving Prayer Service
giving thanks and praise to our awesome God.

"Our Father, we are thankful in deed
for this time we have set aside,
to call us from our busy walk in life,
to give thanks for the many wonderful things
you do in our lives.
We pause to say "THANK YOU"
because we are grateful... in Jesus Name. Amen."
Our Beloved Rev. Davis gave an inspiring Thanksgiving Sermon to our Benedictine School Community this past Wednesday morning. He spoke of our society being caught between "GREED" & "NEED"; and of the importance of treasuring all that we have been given so that we may take the opportunity to share the excess with others who are less fortunate.

Rev. Davis is the father of alumnae, Ericka Davis, graduating class of '07.

Thanksgiving Food Drive

Literally hundreds of canned goods and nonperishable food items were collected to share with families who are in need. Working together with St. Joseph's Coalition for the Homeless, our National Honor Society Students in conjuction with our Campus Ministers, Sisters on a Mission, raised the awareness of their classmates to help feed the hungry. In less than one week, students were bringing in bags and bags of canned vegetables, soups, boxes of oatmeal, and other food staples. "Lord, when did we see you...? Whenever you gave to the least of my brothers, you gave to me." (Matthew 25:31-46)


BA's Senior Campus Ministers meet every other week with our Freshmen Students to support and guide them as they become acclimated to new high school/teenage challenges. This week the hot topic of discussion was "gossip" and how it erodes relationships between God, the listener, the person being spoken about, and even one self. Our daily motto is "Whatever hurts my sister hurts me." This Program is only one of the many ways we at Benedictine Academy live out our charism of being a family, a real community.

07 November, 2007


This week, Marisol Rodriguez from the NJ Coalition for Abstinence empowered our students to stand strong and choose to be free. In other words, "NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE". Our students learned of the media lies, short term and long term dangers of STD's and the power of self-control. Most important, our young ladies learned they are worthy of the best. They are God's treasure and they have been given the choice to be in control of their destiny!

Especially for Moms

Hi Moms and Grandmothers!
This message is especially for you.
Simply click on the following site, sit back and enjoy...
God Bless You.

Blue Angels cook for the Homeless

On Monday, the Blue Angels heard the cry of the poor and responded to Jesus with "Yes, My Lord"! They brought in their chili mix, red kidney beans, macaroni, tomatoes and ground beef to make 12 pans of chili to feed the hungry. The pans were frozen and will be delivered on the third Sunday of the month to Eva's Kitchen in Paterson. Students passing through the cafeteria said it smelled so good that they wondered if there was any leftovers to share!

01 November, 2007


On November 1st, the entire school, one sacred community walked to our neighborhood church, St. Catherine of Sienna Church. This act of journeying together to celebrate Mass among the local community with Father Aurelio has become a well-loved tradition at Benedictine Academy.

On All Saints Day, we recall that each saint has something to teach us about living as good Christians. St. Benedict in His Rule has taught us how to litsen with the ear of our hearts to God and one another. St. Scholastica teaches us about the gift of faith and the power of prayer. And St. Catherine of Sienna calls us, like St. Francis of Assisi, to be peacemakers in our world. Mary, Mother of Jesus, St. Benedict, St. Scholastica, St. Catherine, and St. Francis, pray for us and all our readers of the blog. Amen.


The Blue Angels planted a surprise pumpkin patch for the precious little pre-school children at St. Walburga Monastery. As Caspar the friendly ghost looked on, the little boys and girls quickly scattered selecting just the right pumpkin to take home to share with their family. But first, they painted their pumpkins with the help of our Blue Angels. The Blue Angels are our Junior Campus Ministers who are dedicated to spreading God's love through prayer and good deeds. Smiles and laughter filled the air. It was a blessed day for everyone!

28 October, 2007


The Sophomore Class experienced true Sisterhood this past Friday during their retreat at the St. Walburga Spirituality Center with Campus Ministers, Sr. Donna Jo and Linda Michalski. As they journeyed together with Retreat Director, Ed Craviola and well-loved Finding Nemo, our students soon discovered their own hidden unique talents amidst the hardships of their lives. The theme was the Hope of the Cross. They learned the trust and the love of Jesus could be found in the Christian symbol of the fish. All the students were excited to receive their very own live fish to love and care for as a reminder of this fun-filled day of blessings.

17 October, 2007


A fun day was enjoyed by our Freshmen Students as they retreated together at St. Walburga Spirituality Center. Eddie Craviola, our Retreat Director, led our freshmen students down the yellow brick road. Following Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz, they learned to believe in the goodness of themselves, love the good in one another, and lead each other down the yellow brick road to God. Campus Ministers, Mrs. Michalski and Sister Donna Jo, were accompanied by Freshmen Moderators - Ms. Soltis, Miss Murphy and Miss Blender.

10 October, 2007

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

It is Peanut Butter Jelly Time! There are thousands of families in Union County whose pantries are in need of nutritious food supplements. Our students know they can make a significant difference. We are striving for over 400 jars! Working together as a community, this means each student only needs to bring in 2 jars. Go BA!


Justin Fatica
Hard As Nails rocked the Benedictine Academy Campus this past Friday. A special guest appearance by Christian Rapper, 2-10 (a/k/a Oscar), was inspiring. Their messages were simple. Each of our students is made in God's beautiful image and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity... Our young ladies, in God's eyes, are truly amazing... Jesus is #1! It was an emotional, fun and healing time filled with God's Blessings. Our students are already eagerly awaiting their return visit next year.

Peer Mentoring Program is Launched

Thirteen of our Senior Campus Ministers recently attended a two day - 12 hour worshop at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in the magnificent Ramapo Mountains. Enthused and Committed, our Seniors were inducted as Peer Mentors and were anxious to begin meeting with our freshmen students on a bi-monthly basis. Their primary responsibility is to guide and support their younger Benedictine Sisters in their adjustment to high school; in the setting and achieving of high academic goals; and in making good healthy choices.

Remembrance of September11

Our school community gathered together to pray for the 2,932 people who lost their lives six short years ago. Led by our Senior class, we prayed for justice, peace and healing in our world.

The service concluded with the sounding of the bell for 140 seconds. It was symbolic of the 140 minutes that passed between the moment American Airlines Flight 11 left Logan Airport in Boston and the moment the World Trade Center collapsed. May our church bells always be a reminder that there is hope because we have a God who is with us.

01 October, 2007

Mass of the Holy Spirit

Our good friends, Father ST Sutton and Father James Worth
celebrated our opening school liturgy at St. Walburga Monastery.
Father ST asked, "Is anyone experiencing a storm in their lives?"
In an inspiring homily that touched our hearts,
Father ST reassured us that God is with us to bring us through the storms.

03 June, 2007

The Graduating Class of 2007!

"... I am challenging you to stay in the positive lane of life. Continue to apply yourself to knowledge. Knowing through your faith that God wants you to achieve - a positive conviction..." Rev. Luke Davis gave a most inspiring sermon at the conclusion of the Baccalaureate Mass at St. Walburga Monastery. Rev. Davis is the father of Ericka Davis, a beautiful young woman of God who graduated this year at Benedictine Academy. MAY GOD BLESS THE CLASS OF 2007!

A Special Thank You

In the Month of May, our students celebrated and honored their moms, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, teachers and Benedictine Sisters. "We wanted these special women in our lives to feel cherished and blessed!" They were showered with the gift of dance, song, prayer, flowers and beautiful rosary beads. The parents were truly touched as exhibited by their heart-felt tears. After the bilingual service, (spoken in English and Spanish), the students served their family delicious finger food and cake. It was a wonderful evening shared by all.

13 May, 2007

SPIRIT WEEK at Benedictine Academy

Each year, students and staff represent the Green Team and the White Team, the school's official colors, for a week-long series of competitive fun. This year, our delightful History Teacher, Miss Katie Dotson, on the final day of the events, unleashed her surprise of white overalls for her team!!!! Benedictine Academy leads the way as "one sacred community", our school theme for 2006-2007.

Blue Angels retreat in the Ramapo Mountains

The Blue Angels were the guests of Sister Donna Jo's Franciscan Sisters in Ringwood, New Jersey on Friday, May 11th . It was a beautiful day to retreat on over 8o acres of God's creation in the Ramapo Mountains. The highlight of the day was walking the labyrinth, a meditation path that mirrors the labyrinths of Ancient Greece. The Blue Angels, a Sophomore Campus Ministry Group, made rosary beads, prayed, visited with a few of the Sisters,

and rolled down the hill sharing laughter and joy. It was a blessed day enjoyed by all.

29 April, 2007

Seeing is Believing!

This is the most awesome video of an artist painting our Lord, Jesus from the Word. Enjoy and God Bless. www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M4_IlbaZHA

23 April, 2007

Spreading the Good News

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22 April, 2007

Hilton Hospitality

Hilton Hospitality sounds alot like Benedictine Hospitality! Photo: Encyclopedia Mythica
Conrad Hilton tells the story, "Once upon a time, darkness and cold filled the world and one day Prometheus decided to steal fire from the Gods and bring it to earth. Lives of men, women and children waited, stretched from the highest mountain tops to the ends of the earth, ready to receive the flame and
pass it on. Suddenly came a flash of lightning and the first torch of the nearest man was on fire. Quickly the flame passed from hand to hand, from one flame came ten, from 100 came 1000, from city to city, country to country, until light and warmth filled the earth. That is the story of our industry... It is our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality." "This is Conrad's simple philosophy with the potential to change the world: Be Hospitable! Hilton is more than a place to sleep" (as Benedictine Academy is more than just a place to come to school). Conrad Hilton believed, as did Benedict, "that the doors could lead to meaningful experiences that draw people together all around the world" as one sacred community!

21 April, 2007

We pray...

We pray for the 32 victims who died from the horrific shooting at Virginia Tech last week... we pray for their families and friends who are experiencing so much sorrow... we pray for those who are injured... for the Virginia Tech community... and all college students whose lives are also deeply affected... we pray for each of us to bring love and goodness into our world to overcome the darkness. As always, we ask this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Kenneth Jennings
Associate Principal

Seniors Retreat on the Ocean

Our Seniors hearts were
overflowing with God's love
as they retreated for two days
at Stella Maris Retreat Center
in Elberon, New Jersey. The Noreaster blew through only
a few days before leaving high
tides crashing against the jetty's.
We were blessed to be there
and experience the powerful
presence of God in our midst. Ed Craviola was our dynamic Retreat Director. Full of exuberance and joy, he guided our students to receive the many Gifts of the Sea.

Kick-Off for Leukemia

On the day after Ash Wednesday, a few of the Rutgers Champion football players came to BA to help us kick-off our Lenten campaign to fight against children with leukemia. Cancer is a disease that sadly affects almost every family. Our goal was to give alms for 40 days to raise $1,000 toward this worthwhile cause. We are proud to say that we have exceeded our goal by $200 raising $1200! Our Sophomore class were the leaders in donations inspiring the other grades to generosity. They will be celebrating with a pizza party. The Senior Class was not far behind and will also be celebrating, only they will be enjoying an ice cream party. Candace, one of our Seniors, was the highest contributor and the delighted recipient of a football autographed by our Rutger's players.

Neumann College

Our Junior Campus Ministers, Sisters on a Mission, went off for a day of spiritual fun and relaxation at Sr. Donna Jo's Mother House in Aston, Pennsylvania. They also spent time touring the Franciscan Sisters College, Neumann College. Imani's (right) sister Nia graduated from BA last year and is having a wonderful challenging time attending Neumann College. We are also excited to announce that Ashley (left) recently made her first communion at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Hillside with another BA student, Denise (photo not shown).

An Encounter

Have you heard the Good News? Ericka Davis, Melyssa Searcy and Shariay Simpson (photo not shown) have recorded a few of their favorite songs. They had a great time recording at our dear friends, VIP Recording Studio. If you are interested in obtaining a free copy of Ericka's CD called "That Name", please write or give us a call. The song tells us through it all, we still have God on our side and His Precious Name is Jesus!

Pro-Life Rally

by Melanie Calatayud

The Pro-Life Rally at Seton Hall University on Thursday, April 19 was truly amazing!
It opened my eyes to what the real world is all about... and not that fake stuff on t.v..
It was an indescribable experience. I can truly say, "I felt God". If everyone experienced it, I know we would all make this world a better place. I learned that God loves you, and we just have to believe. Even though we don't see Him, He's there. You can never have too much of Him.

"God is good all the time, all the time God is good!"