27 February, 2009

Lectio Divina

It has been a long standing cherished tradition at Benedictine Academy to listen with the ear of our hearts to Sacred Scripture and take some quiet time to meditate on the Word of the Lord. Each Friday during our Lenten Journey, we prepare our hearts and minds for prayer at the sounding of the monastery bell. Our entire school community walks in silence to the Benedictine Sisters Chapel of St. Walburga Monastery. As we sit in our places of welcome, we hear the familiar sound of Pachelbel's Canon, one of the most famous pieces of music by Johann Pachelbel. It was originally written in or around 1680, during the Baroque period, as a piece of chamber music for three violins and basso continuo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Af372EQLckPrayer is led by a student, a staff member, and one of our dear Benedictine Sisters. It is 30 minutes of peace and rest in the loving embrace of our Lord. Peace be with you!

Mardi Gras

This past Tuesday, we celebrated Mardi Gras and International Day as one sacred community with family and friends. One of the greatest blessings of our school is the significant diversity of the ethnic backgrounds of our student population. We embrace the beauty of our differences, knowing that we are all sisters and all belong to the same Lord.

At Benedictine Academy, we are family! The day began with Sister Philomena Fleck, our keynote speaker and Benedictine Sister of the St. Walburga Monastery. She shared her recent trip to Africa - the joys, the sorrows, and the hope that she had for our sisters and brothers in Africa. The timing was perfect because we had recently reached our goal of raising $8,500 to build a one room school building in the Sierra Leone, through our
O Ambassador Club, a joint venture with Free the Children and Oprah's Angel Network. Workshops followed throughout the day with speakers for countries such as Italy, France, the Philippines, Ecuador, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Portugal, and Puerto Rico, to name a few. The highlight was a striking flag parade representing dozens of countries across the globe. The day concluded with a jelly bean raffle and all the proceeds being donated toward a clean water facility in the Sierra Leone. At BA, we are becoming leaders in changing the world to become a better place for everyone.

ash wednesday

On this Ash Wednesday, our entire school journeyed to St. Catherine of Siena Parish to begin our Lenten journey as one sacred community. Lent is a time to re-connect with our loving God and open the door of our hearts to His compassion and mercy. Over the next 40 Days, we pray that each of you receieve every blessing, grace and good gift that our Lord promises to bestow on us. During this Lenten season, we will be celebrating the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, praying the Stations of the Cross, and practicing the Benedictine meditation of Lectio Divina at St. Walburga Monastery. We will be fasting and giving alms to Operation Ricebowl. Other works of charity will include making breakfast bags and Easter baskets for the homeless, and sharing our food with the poor. At Benedictine Academy, we learn that true wisdom is placing our knowledge into action to serve others with love.

22 February, 2009

We are Sisters, We are Family!

Last week the Sophomore Class left the city of Elizabeth to Retreat at the Spirituality Center in Xavier Center of the College of St. Elizabeth. It was an awesome time full of blessings as our students grew closer to God and each other. Eddie, our Retreat Director, focused on Genesis 6:14 and the meaning of the ARK. Although it was flurry of snow showers on the outside, inside our students were experiencing a rainbow- God's covenant of hope. Everyone went home with a live fish as a reminder of the care and concern we are to have for each other as followers of Jesus. At BA, we learn we have been given a mission to lead others in changing the world for the better.

As we re-read the passage of Genesis, let us reflect on the thought of " how God will not save the world without us and how we cannot save the world without God".

03 February, 2009

Red Hand Day

Our students at BA are taking social action against the injustice of child soldiers. "The Red Hand symbol has been used all over the world by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers." There are approximately 250,000 children being employed in warfare, even though this is a gross violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child instituted on February 12, 2002. To be a voice for the voiceless, over 170 of our students have placed a red hant print with a message on paper to be delivered, along with almost 1 million other hand prints from other schools and organizations, to the United Nations on February 12. At Benedictine Academy, we strongly believe it is our shared responsibility to build a culture of peace in our communities.

01 February, 2009

Gospel Choir Sings Praises

Our Gospel Choir recorded their first CD at VIP Recording Studio in Kennilworth, New Jersey this past weekend. It was an exciting day as families gathered around in the studio listening to their daughters record their beautiful voices. At Benedictine Academy, we believe that every student has unique gifts and talents to be respected and developed. This is only one of many ways we help our students achieve personal growth, along with academic success. We are pleased to announce that next month a member of NJPAC will be working with our students to stage a theatre production for our school. Also on the calendar, next to our ongoing sport events, is International Day and Cultural Literacy Day. These are amazing celebrations led by our students to build community, challenge their intellectual curiosity, and develop their leadership skills. At Benedictine Academy, we believe faith and knowledge are the cornerstones to a successful life.