25 November, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

Our dear friend and Brother, Rev. William Paige, flew in from a recent engagement in the Dominican Republic to bless our school community with the Word of the Lord. Rev. Bill Paige is a world renown speaker who inspires people, young and old, with his story telling and reflections on the Good News of Jesus Christ. He opened with a letter that he personally carried from one of his retreatants in the Dominican Republic. "To my teachers and friends at Benedictine Academy... I miss you and wish I were back with you all...O.R." Synchronicity. It was a letter of thanksgiving to Benedictine Academy from one of our students who recently moved back to her family's home of origin. She had an attitude of gratitude to B.A. for her education and the sisterhood that she had experienced.

Rev. Bill Paige vividly shared the story of the healing of the ten lepers, explaining how only only one of the ten lepers healed returned to give thanks and praise to Jesus. He pointed to Jesus on the crucifix, hanging life size in St. Walburga Monastery Chapel. Rev. Bill Paige asked, "How often do we say `thank you' to Jesus for all the blessings He has bestowed on us in our lives?" Are we like the one leper who knelt before Jesus to give thanks, or are we like the nine who received the blessing and kept on going with their lives?" Attitude of Gratitude!

Unlike the scripture passage of the ten lepers, we were blessed to have another alumnae return to Benedictine Academy to join us for our traditional Thanksgiving Prayer Service. Ericka Davis flew home from college for the Thanksgiving break, and joined us as she does every year to share in giving thanks and praise to the Lord. We wish all of our Benedictine family and friends, all of our Blog readers, a blessed Thanksgiving. May we always remember to walk with an attitude of gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ.

22 November, 2009

Charter for Compassion

If you had one wish to save the world, what would it be? The Fetzer Institute engaged the most fascinating thinkers and doers from around the world and asked them this very question. Karen Armstrong was awarded the opportunity and $100,000 to make her wish come true. A Charter for Compassion was crafted by people from all over the world, including the Dalai Lama and our Benedictine Sister, Joan Chittister. The Charter was released to the Global Community two weeks ago on November 12. As our school community gathered for prayer each morning, we listened with the ear of our hearts to the new Charter of Compassion. It is based on the premise that "everybody has become our neighbor, and the Golden Rule has become an urgent necessity for peace in our world." The Peace & Justice Campus Ministers will be designing their own Charter for Compassion and spreading it among students in the local schools. At Benedictine Academy, we believe we are called to be people of compassion and treat everyone as Christ, Himself.


November 20 marked the 20th anniversary of the United Nations' Convention of the Rights of a Child. Yet, millions of children are trafficked each year, forced to work in slave labor, become child soldiers, are abused, suffer from malnutrition, or are prevented from receiving an education. The O'Ambassador Club decided to take an active stand for social change and become a voice for the voiceless. This past week, Campus Ministry students volunteered to take a vow of silence for the day in an effort to raise awareness of the injustices that their brothers and sisters were suffering around the globe. Wearing a sign that displayed a startling statistic on children being denied their basic human rights, they wore tape over their mouths and refused to speak or even text message. It was a powerful movement to stand up for the voiceless and walk in solidarity with youth around the world.
At Benedictine Academy, our students are making a difference and nobody will be able to keep them silent to make our world a better place . VIDEO CLIP : http://iamsilent.com/

Thanksgiving Food Drive

November is a time to give thanks to God for all the blessings in our life. Student Council and Campus Ministry joined efforts to reach out to the homeless families. The Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless said there were over 900 families without food this Thanksgiving. Hearing the cry of the poor, our students, staff and our families brought in turkeys, canned foods, and all the trimmings to almost fill a whole van. At Benedictine Academy, we believe that we have a moral responsibility to serve the local community. It is just one of the many ways our students have the opportunity to be Service Leaders in our world.

07 November, 2009

Peer Mentors at Work

The Senior Peer Mentors gathered together to hear God's Word. "Love one another as I have loved you," instructed our Lord Jesus. They discussed what it meant to be family, to be part of God's family, and to be part of the Benedictine Family. Hospitality, Prayer, and Service were three of the cornerstones of our faith that they discussed. Then they put God's Word into action by gathering games and dvd's to bring and share with the children that they were babysitting at the Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless. Their hearts were filled with peace and joy as they spread God's message of love. "Doing small things with great love" (Mother Theresa) is one of the many ways we are touching lives in the local community.

It's Peanut Butter & Jelly Time!

This past Thursday, the school community heard the cry of the poor and decided to take action. Over 80 students gathered together to make almost 500 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, complete with drinks, snacks, and prayers for the Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless. It was a fun-spirited event as students decorated the lunch bags with words of comfort and hope. As the students laughed and worked as one body, other students loaded the car with over 100 jars of peanut butter and jelly in an effort to fill the empty pantry shelves. At Benedictine Academy, we believe we can be the change we wish to see. Together, we can and are making a difference.


Jesus often went away from his day-to-day routine to pray and be refreshed.
This past Wednesday, our Sophomores followed in Jesus' footsteps as they retreated from the school day to become refreshed with our Lord.
"Who Moved the Cheese?" Life is not static. To grow, we often need to let go of the familiar or old perspectives that keep us from reaching our goal of true happiness. Are we HEM, or HAW, or SNIFF, or SCURRY? What do we spend our days chasing after? What obstacles are in our path that prevent us from accomplishing our goal? These are only a few of the questions the students discussed and reflected on with Eddie, our retreat guide and friend. The day concluded with a beautiful reconciliation prayer service at the St. Walburga Monastery. Thanks be to God and all of our donors who made this blessed day possible.


We remember all of our loved ones and friends who have died, as we pray for their souls to be received into heaven. It reminds us that we may only have today to live our lives fully in love and kindness. We learned to embrace our past for what it is; to let go of old hurts or attitudes; and to move on to receive the new blessings God has for us here and now. A candle representing the Light of Christ was lit, prayers were shared, and memorial stones were received. The healing presence of our Lord touched each of our hearts. We prayed in a special way for family and friends, and in a special way for Rev. Edward Hinds who recently died.