27 April, 2009

SENIOR RETREAT



Our Seniors had the most amazing retreat at Stella Maris Retreat Center, Long Branch on April 21 & 22. Greeted by Sister Cecilia, Eddie, and Bill, their enthusiasms and bright smiles enveloped all of us with God's love. Even the stormy weather could not place a damper on the immense joy and beauty of retreating at the beach. We laughed, we cried, we played and we prayed with the Spirit of the Lord in our midst. The theme was "Halo".


"It was a true awakening... the walls we built came tumbling down.
Everywhere I looked , I was surrounded by your embrace.
I can see your halo, you know you're my saving grace.
You're everything I need and more... standing in the light of your halo..."



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18 April, 2009

Immaculee Ilibagiza - "Left to Tell"


This past Thursday, we had the privilege of attending a Spring Conference on Genocide and Reconciliation at Dolan Performance Hall at the College of St. Elizabeth. Claudine Mukamabano & Kuki Ndiho Dance Performers did a magnificent African Dance presentation sharing the beauty of the culture and the richness of their rituals. This was followed by a most inspiring talk by Immaculee, a living example of Christ's forgiveness and love. Both Claudine and Immaculee are genocide survivors from Rwanda, who feel called by God to tell their amazing stories of faith and hope amidst the deep suffering they experienced in 1994. Immaculee's life was transformed when as a College Student, she was forced to hide in a bathroom for 91 days with seven other women as she heard and saw her family, neighbors and friends be brutally killed. Yet, in the midst of this immense suffering, she finds God and forgiveness. One of our students, Kimberly, writes after the Presentation: " I just wanted to thank you for inviting me and allowing me to hear Immaculee's story. Her story truly showed me that there is really nothing but God, who you have to believe in and place your faith... thank Him for all He has done...I will carry her powerful message with me forever. This was an experience that I will never forget. Once again, thank you."

04 April, 2009

POETRY FEST


The Literary Arts Club proudly presented their first Poetry Fest to a full house this past Friday Evening. Ms. Adriana Pequeno hosted the gala event at Benedictine Academy. The enchanted evening began with a candlelit Coffee House and Live Song Performances by students Brittany Henderson and Elizabeth Bukiron. A Poetry Jam followed with almost two dozen student poets reciting their own poetry that expressed the innermost feelings of their hearts.


Mr. Ken Jennings, Principal, recited "If I Could Tell You" by W.H.Auden:

"Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay.
If I could tell you, I would let you know..."

Ms. Pequeno, also a poet at heart, read her moving poem called "Infusion". It was a truly delightful evening!

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WORLD WATER DAY




Did you know that 2 million children die each year from infections spread from water?

Did you know that 1.2 million people lack safe access to safe drinking water?

Did you know that many of these people and children live in Africa?

Did you know that the young girls are unable to go to school because they must walk for hours to get water from a muddy river?

Did you know they would then carry the 40 gallon jug of infected water on their head for miles and miles every day?

Did you know that the annual expenditure on ocean cruises is $14 billion... and the cost to achieve clean water for everyone in the world is $10 billion?

Our O Ambassadors learned about this reality check from Free the Children and the United Nations. They decided to raise awareness and funds to build a clean water system in West Africa. This past week, they prepared water bottles with facts about the global experience of the lack of clean drinking water. The money raised from the sale of the water bottles will go toward the building of the clean water system in the Sierra Leone. It cost $5,000 to provide such a system and we are at almost 40% of our goal. Together we can eliminate water waste by shutting off the faucet and not letting the water run, take shorter showers and fill the sink when washing the dishes. At Benedictine Academy, we care!

The Easter Bunny comes early to Benedictine Academy

While many students are counting the days to Easter vacation, our Campus Ministry Students were preparing Easter baskets for the many little boys and girls who are homeless in the nearby communities. Laughter filled their hearts as they lovingly filled each basket with colored grass and delicious goodies such as marshmallow bunnies, dinosaur eggs, and gummy candies. Also included in each Easter basket was a little stuffed bear holding a heart that said, "Jesus loves you". The baskets will be delivered this week to St. Joseph Coalition for the Homeless in Elizabeth. We wish all our readers a blessed and joyful Easter.
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Youth Leadership



Welcome Back Bill Paige! In preparation for Holy Week, we were blessed to have Bill Paige share the gospel stories about sin and the love and mercy of our Lord, Jesus. Jesus, as He hangs on the cross, whispers to each of our hearts "I love you" and longs to hear us respond, "I love you,too!" Lent is the time when God calls us to have a metanoia, and return to Him so that we may be embraced with His loving arms.

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A Day of Reflection


Following in the footsteps of Jesus, our Juniors headed to the mountains to pray and listen with the ears of their hearts to God's call. It was a day full of peace and many blessings at Sister Donna Jo's Franciscan Retreat Center in Ringwood, New Jersey. Our theme was based on the theological virtues to overcome obstacles in life. We used Norman Rockwell's Golden Rule Print, "What you do unto each other, you do to Me" to accentuate that we are a Benedictine family, true sisters to one another... and this community dimension of our school, enables us to provide the support and encouragement to succeed in life.

Cultural Echange Program


O Ambassador Club has recently been awarded the privilege to partner with a high school in China to exchange cultural, educational, and social information about their young lives. It is a unique opportunity that provides our students with a global perspective on the interests, hopes and dreams of their sisters overseas. Our school profile has been sent and we eagerly await the translated scrapbook from our partner school in China. At Benedictine Academy, we are educating our students to become the global leaders of the 21st century.