27 September, 2008

Feast Day of Padre Pio!

On Tuesday, September 23rd, our school community gathered in prayer invoking the intercession of Padre Pio to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Born in 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, Padre Pio belonged to the Franciscan Order known as the Capuschin Order. Similar to St. Francis of Assisi, he is one of the few saints in history to receive the 5 wounds of Christ known as the stigmata. He is known as the Priest of Hope speading his well-known message "Pray, Hope and Don't Worry" throughout the Americas. His wish was that all Americans would become his spiritual children. It is said that Padre Pio had the spiritual gift of perfume as a sign that your prayers had been heard. In his memory, the Campus Ministers spread fragrances of perfume among the staff and students.

25 September, 2008

Thanks to the Department of Public Works

It all started with a dream. One of our Sophomore students, Janae', was sharing with her classmates her interest in caring for the local environment. Benedictine Academy is a Green Flag School and respect for the earth is a fundamental belief of our school. Knowing "nothing is impossible with God", the students promptly outlined a plan for the tools necessary to begin the Lord's work. Working together, in cooperation with the Department of Public Works, our students known as "Earth's Angels" joyfully undertook their task to beautify the grounds. We give thanks to the Lord for the support of the Department of Public Works. We are proud to be part of the community of Elizabeth!

20 September, 2008


We were blessed by the presence of Father Edwin Leahy, the Headmaster of St.Benedict's Prep, who celebrated our opening school Liturgy at St. Walburga Monastery on Thursday, September 17, 2008. The Gospel Choir rocked the rafters with a faith-filled rendition of Amen. At the conclusion of Mass, our Senior students presented each Freshmen student with a copy of Sacred Scripture. These bibles are gifted in loving memory of Catherine Donnelly Ferruggia, a dear friend and alumnae of Benedictine Academy. We are grateful to the family for this beautiful tradition. Sister Germaine Fritz, our President, then called forth 52 of our Campus Ministers for a special blessing as they committed to serving our Lord in the new school year!

14 September, 2008

In Remembrance of September 11

As one sacred school community, we gathered in prayer to remember our sisters and brothers who had lost their lives in the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon seven short years ago. Although we cannot change history, we strongly believe we can Be the Change for a better world. The Sophomore Campus Ministry Students proclaimed the words of Matthew to both students and staff: "The love of Christ comes before all else... love your enemies... pray for those who persecute you." A brief student reflection followed reminding us that "we, as leaders, must set the course for peace in our world. It all begins with our words, our actions, and the disposition of our hearts." The prayer service concluded with everyone joining hands, one family under God, to pray our Lord's prayer - the Our Father and sing God Bless America.

Stand Up to Cancer

Last Friday evening, musicians and well-known celebrities gathered across the nation to Stand Up to Cancer. Since 2003, the government funding for cancer research has decreased each year. Stand Up to Cancer is not waiting any longer. We have all been affected by cancer in one way or another. Benedictine Academy decided to take a stand and do something to bring hope into our world. In addition to our Breast Cancer walk-a-thon next month, we have been praying for family members and friends of our school community. During a special school prayer service, a constellation of stars was created by our Art Department and Senior Campus Ministers. Students and Staff, side by side, wrote on a star the names of their loved ones who have been touched by cancer. Let us remember, there are actions we can take to help: Eat Properly, Exercise, Stop Smoking, Get Yearly Check-ups, and Manage your Stress.

The Jubilee Year of the Apostle Paul

The Staff went off to the Ramapo Mountains to pray with the Apostle Paul in celebration of this special Jubilee Year. It was a wonderful way for our community to prepare for the new school year. St. Benedict, similar to Paul, had a profound relationship with Jesus. Prayer and working for Christ (oikonomos) were the key factors in their discipleship, as are ours as well. Eddie Craviolo, our dear friend, led the retreat and our inspiring journey with Saint Paul. Mid-day, Sister Donna Jo and Linda Michalski, the Campus Ministers, sent the Staff out in two's with walking sticks, water bottles, and Whole Food ecology bags in hand on a scavenger hunt to gather items for spreading the Good News during the year. The beautiful grace-filled day concluded with God's blessing on the Staff invoked by our President, Sister Germaine Fritz, OSB and a prayer by Ken Jennings, Principal echoing the words of Saint Paul:

"I have great confidence in you, I have great pride in you;
I am filled with encouragement, I am overflowing with joy."