20 March, 2010

Happy Feast Day!

We celebrated the Feast of St. Benedict a little early this year. Each year, we honor one of our beautiful Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburga Monastery. It is their grace-filled spirits and gentle presence that blesses all the young women at Benedictine Academy. This year, it was our privilege to sing praises to the Lord for Sister Mary Downing. Sister Mary Downing started the Benedictine pre-school across the street many decades ago, and has worked with several of our students diligently, year after year, as part of their early childhood curriculum. If there was one word which could capture the personality of Sr. Mary, it would be "kindness", said Sr. Germaine. Loving Kindness is a hallmark of our Lord's' Sacred Heart and the Benedictine Sisters.

19 March, 2010

Tony Melendez

Tony Melendez and the Toe Jam Band rocked the house at Benedictine Academy this past Monday, March 15. Tony was born without arms because his mother was prescribed thalidomide during her pregnancy. However, Tony shares his story that "God had plans for him, a future full of hope, not woe!" (Jeremiah) Tony and the Toe Jam Band have travelled across the United States, performed for the Pope at World Youth Day, opened the World Series, and appeared on countless television shows and stages in countries across the world.

Our Praise Dancers beautifully gave praise to the Lord as Tony sang one of his original songs, Hands in Heaven. Their stories and songs delivered a message of hope that reminds us "nothing is impossible with God." Our lives will never be the same after hearing Tony sing as he played his guitar with no arms, and with the toes of his feet. He is truly an inspiration to us all.


Benedictine Academy was blessed to welcome Detective Steve McDonald, Christoph Arnold and Hashim Garrett last Friday, March 12. They spoke a powerful message of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution through Forgiveness. Detective Steve McDonald was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty 21 years ago. He echoed President Robert Kennedy who once said, "The victims of violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are most important of all, human beings, whom other human beings loved and needed." Steve McDonald shared why he feels "that the only thing worse than a bullet in my spine would have been revenge."

Hashim Garrett, at the age of 15, suffered a spinal cord injury from a bullet shot. He spoke about the importance of education, the cause of conflicts and the need to forgive. Quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., Hashim lives by the belief that "Forgiveness is not a one-time event; it is an attitude that must be lived." Hashim has been a six year speaker for the Harvard Violence Prevention Curriculum and educates young people on "Wisdom and Understanding" in their communities.

Mr. Arnold has written 11 books on suffering, violence and forgiveness. Jesus suffered from cruelty and died on a cross. And violence continues to harm good people in our world today. To help us prepare our hearts during this Lenten Season, Mr. Arnold gifted everyone with a copy of his book, Why Forgive?

We all walked away with a deeper appreciation for our lives and the need to be people of compassion and love.

07 March, 2010


During Lent, the entire school community journeys together in silence to Chapel at the sound of the Monastery bell. Lectio Divina is our sacred time to contemplate the Word of God. We listen "with the ear of our hearts" to God's presence in the events of our lives. We experience Christ calling us back into God, our Father's loving embrace. "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. " Jesus reminds us that whenever we turn our hearts and minds to God in prayer, we shall find Him and we shall be satisfied. How awesome is that! At BA, Lent is one of our favorite times of the year.

05 March, 2010

Adobe Youth Voices

Brittany Henderson was recording her new song at Track Three Media Studio with two of her classmates this past weekend. Elizabeth played the soulful beat on the African Drum, as Cassie videotaped their performance for part of their documentary. Creating, producing, and performing are a daily occurrence at Benedictine Academy. We believe the Arts are an integral part of humanity and critical to the building of a more humane society. Theatre and Film are key components of the extracurricular activities at Benedictine Academy.


At Benedictine Academy we are proactive in teaching our students how to recognize and prevent dating abuse. The Safe Dates curriculum for our Freshmen students is part of our Peer Mentoring Program. It is a twelve week interactive program that looks at healthy communication in relationships and shows students how to develop positive, healthy dating relationships. We care about the mind, body and spirit of each and every one of our students. This research based curriculum is an adolescent prevention program that provides a comprehensive approach to safe dates.