According to Mark's Gospel, "Here begins the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Whenever we are in need of hope and God's mercy, we only need to meditate on the Cross. The Cross is a symbol of our salvation and God's deep love for each of us. Our Campus Ministers were busy preparing hundreds of Palm Crosses to distribute at Mass this past Sunday at their parishes. The Palm crosses are not only to observe Palm Sunday, but are a way for us to help support families in Africa. The crosses are made throughout the year in seven mud villages in Tanzania as a means to earn money for food and medical supplies. At Benedictine Academy, we believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.
30 March, 2009
"There is nothing that you can do to keep God from loving you!" This is the Spirit behind the call for our community to attend our Lenten Reconciliation Service. It was a sacred time for our students and staff to experience the Lord's mercy and compassion. Our faithful friends, Father ST Sutton and Father James Worth, administred this wonderful Sacrament of Healing.
We have joined teams with Catholic Charities, as Partners in Education, to provide an 8 week Safe Dating Program to our Freshmen Students. Each week, in our Peer Mentoring Curriculum, our students learn about healthy relationships to prevent dating violence. The classes focus on positive communication, anger management, and conflict resolution skills. Benedictine Academy cares about developing the intellect, physical strength, and the spirituality of our students. We care about the safety of every student and are undertaking preventative measures to ensure their well-being.
20 March, 2009
The Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center held a Student Leadership Workshop today addressing one of the most crucial isues confronting our country today - Poverty in America. Sister Donna Jo, our Campus Minister, along with seven student leaders attended this most important conference for high school teens, the leaders of today and tomorrow. According to the US Census Bureau, 35.9 million people live below the poverty line in America, including 12.9 million children. The inspiring morning keynote session was given by our very own Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, Mayor of Elizabeth. He warned our students that true commitment requires a sacrifice of time and energy. The Mayor then challenged our youth to identify a group in the local community that was in need and develop a plan to reach out and take action. Our students' passion for justice was ignited and they returned to meet with BA's Principal, Mr. Ken Jennings, to share their initial thoughts for developing a concrete plan of action. At Benedictine Academy, students learn how to listen and be leaders in fulfilling their social responsibility.
The Freshmen had the most awesome retreat day with their Peer Mentors as Justin Fatica rocked the walls with his Hard as Nails message and Christian Rock Music. He told our students how they were truly beautiful and amazing in the Lord's eyes. When in doubt, they only needed to look to the cross to see Christ's immense love for them. They discussed critical issues such as dating, the importance of the sacrament of marriage, honesty, and their inherent dignity as beautiful young daughters of God. As the Peer Mentors laid hands and prayed over their freshmen, our students experienced in a real way the meaning of what it means to be part of the Benedictine family and Sisters to one another. Justin Fatica recently aired a HBO movie and has a best seller new Christian book called "Hard as Nails".
13 March, 2009
We heard the cry of the hungry and we said "YES, WE WILL HELP!" The food pantries shelves are empty and families have no food to feed their children. Each week, the Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless and Bridges Outreach Program reach out to feed over 500 to 700 people a week who are homeless in the local communities. Today, our students gathered together to make almost 100 breakfast bags for the homeless. They decorated their brown bags with messages of hope, and filled the contents with cereal boxes, milk, nutrient bars, hot chocolate, and prayer cards. "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat... whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did unto Me." (Matthew 25)
On March 5, we joined our sisters & brothers across the globe by Taking a Vow of Silence for children who have no voice. Millions of children around the world are suffering from gross injustices. Student Members of our O Ambassador Club decided to raise awareness for children being oppressed by child labor, human trafficking, poverty, lack of education or unsafe unhealth conditions. They wore tape on their mouths and statistics on a badge for other students to read and pray for as a group. It was a powerful way to say WE CARE. At Benedictine Academy, we believe we have a social responsibility to build a culture of peace and justice.