26 April, 2011


We just heard the Good News!

We are pleased to announce the 2011

New Jersey Jefferson Awards Youth Service Honorees.

Benedictine Academy (PBJ Club), Elizabeth
Benedictine Academy (SHAC Club), Elizabeth

"There were so many great youth service projects!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the New Jersey Make Service Count Challenge, a Youth Service Initiative of the NJ Governor's Jefferson Award coordinated by the Star Ledger and the Community Foundation of NJ.

In addition to the Benedictine School Community winning the Jefferson Award New Jersey Regional Competition and Gold Banner for outstanding volunteerism, two of our service clubs are being honored for their exceptional good works at the Newark Museum on May 21.

The PEACE & JUSTICE CLUB has been working diligently at spreading their Anti-Bullying Program to other schools in the local communities and across the states.

The SHAC CLUB (Students Helping All Children) has been focusing their efforts on helping raise awareness to stop child slave labor, especially in the chocolate industry.

Both of these clubs have been leaders of change bringing hope into the world. Together, we can and are making a difference across the globe.

How awesome is that!

13 April, 2011

Pro-Life Rally

Pro-Life Rally at Seton Hall University on Friday was truly amazing!

New Jersey's Eighth Annual Pro-Life Youth Rally was full of messages of "Life, Love, and Joy"! Sean Forrest, Founder of Movin' with the Spirit, the keynote speaker rocked the hall as he spoke of the value of life and the importance of faith and good works. These faithful students who attended the Pro-Life March in Washington DC earlier in the year, also headed to Seton Hall's Pro-Life Rally.

After celebrating together Liturgy of the Word and Eucharist, awards were presented to school service clubs that had been active in their pro-life efforts. Benedictine Academy's Pro-Life Club received an award for all of their outstanding service in collecting baby clothes and donations for unwed mothers. It was an indescribable experience as our Pro-Life Club and Student In Action Team shared with other students information regarding ant-bullying, child slave labor in the chocolate industry, and human trafficking.

Senior Retreat

Our Seniors boarded the bus with great excitement as they headed down to Stella Maris Retreat House in Long Branch. It was a most beautiful day in every way - 75 degrees - on the ocean - enjoying the blessing of time away with the Lord and their sisters, Graduating Class of 2011!

Special guest, Rev. Bill Paige, reflected on the Word of God and his own life, filling everyone with hope and inspiration for their journey ahead. Eddie, their Retreat Director for all 4 years, once again shared his enthusiasm and love of God until their cups overflowed.

As they threw their worries into the ocean, trusting in God's plans for a future full of hope, they laughed and ran in the sand enjoying the gift of time away from the stresses of daily life. Free to be for their sisters, they then gave the lifeline of friendship to one another. We spoke their names, reflecting on the gift of who they are to the Benedictine Academy community. As their time together sadly started to come to a close, they toasted their friends and their class with good wishes and blessings. A bitter sweet ending to a most amazing retreat.

Return to Me...

The Sophomore class headed to the Ramapo Mountains to retreat with our Lord at the Franciscan Spirituality Center. It was a grace-filled day as they followed Nemo and reflected on their own need to return to the love of God during this Lenten Season.

Eddie, our Retreat Director, guided their hearts through our Benedictine Mission to listen, learn, love, and lead. As they prepared to become the new leaders, Big Sisters, of our incoming freshmen next year, they experienced the power of becoming a real team, united in the Spirit of God. As a remembrance of their responsibility to be sister to one another, family, they each received a live fish to care for and love. At Benedictine Academy, we believe that Prayer and Eucharist are the foundation of what it means to be in communion with Jesus and one another.

06 April, 2011


Benedictine Academy wins the Gold Medal

for Jefferson Award

Regional Competition

for the State of New Jersey!
Our Students In Action Team attended NJPAC for the Spring Regional Competition of the Jefferson Awards this past Tuesday. Mayor Booker was the keynote speaker. He was absolutely amazing as he shared his own leadership stories of challenges and successes. A Yale Law Graduate, he learned a few of his greatest lessons from a wise woman who lived in a housing development in Newark and a mother with two small children on a cross-country plane flight. Mayor Booker spoke about the importance of the human dignity of every human being and the power of choosing to touch another life in small ways with kindness. It was wonderful for our students to hear how the Mayor spoke of the Lord being very present in his life, teaching and guiding him every step of the way. Mayor Cory Booker, himself, is a National Jefferson Award winner.
Students from over a dozen New Jersey High Schools filled the room as they shared their volunteer leadership experiences and worked together to develop proposals for service projects.

Then came the moment for which we were all anxiously waiting. The judging of the SIA Competition was based on 7 criteria: Engaged School Community, Effective Leadership Team, Expanded Volunteer Capacity, Expanded Financial Capacity, Communication of Service Projects, Growth of SIA, and Innovations.

Afterwards, Ms. Karen Hatcher shared that the judges commented that BA's Student In Action presentation was "excellent"! "Nearly every judge gave them perfect marks." They said it was "well-planned", "very engaging", and "great delivery". (Ms. Karen Hatcher is the Regional Director of Students In Action in New Jersey.) http://www.studentsinaction.org/news-announcements

Mr. Robert Ford, Executive Director of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, shared, "Your students captured the essence of what makes me proud to be an American citizen, and personify the hope that I have for the future... I look forward to welcoming your inspirational young leaders to Washington DC as the New Jersey recipients of the Jefferson Awards Outstanding High School ( Volunteerism / Service / Leadership)."

03 April, 2011

National Youth Leadership Summit

This weekend, several of our Students In Action Leadership Team headed to Cincinnati, Ohio to attend and present a leadership workshop at the National Youth leadership Conference. It was an amazing experience for all the youth who participated in this empowering event.

The session opened with a motivating speech by Sam Beard, one of the original founders of the prestigious Jefferson Award Service Program. (Jacqueline Onassis, co-founder, established this Nobel Service program to recognize and honor ordinary individuals and groups doing extraordinary things for their communities.) Robert Ford, the National Director of Jefferson Awards out of Washington DC, then delivered an inspiring talk sharing his work with youth all around the globe. Robert Ford shared emphatically with the hundreds of youth present how he believed that they were the "LEADERS OF TODAY"!
Our students formed close friendships with the student leaders from Illinois and Delaware. They are looking to partner with these schools on various service projects across the nation, as well as to work more closely with Robert Ford on a project in the Philippines for Human trafficking. Their workshop on "how to form a MINGA by engaging the community" was an overwhelming success.
The weekend concluded with a symposium of the various service projects. Judges awarded two $300. grants for service leadership presentations on projects which had the most significant impact on their communities. Benedictine's Academy STUDENTS IN ACTION LEADERSHIP TEAM WAS NAMED THE WINNER OF THE GRANT!
Service Leadership is a critical component of our Mission Statement. At BA, our students are "Listening, Loving, Learning and Leading " the way to making our world a better place.

01 April, 2011

Hard A Nails speaks about Commitment!

Let this be my prayer! What is your prayer? What is your commitment? To whom are you committed? These are the type of reflective questions Justin Fatica posed to our students and staff during our Lenten Retreat for the entire school. "In God's eyes, you and I are amazing."

Think about the people in your life who have made sacrifices out of love for you. They are committed to you. Have you thanked them? Who have you made sacrifices for out of love? These are the people in your life you are committed to out of love. And then, most importantly, there is Jesus who laid down His life and died for you and me. He is committed to us. The question is, "are we committed to Jesus?"
Justin and his team, Dan and Adam, continued to share their mission stories about the importance of choosing the right people in your life and making the right choice for Jesus!
Special guest speaker, Mrs. Leilah Tyree (the wife of former NFL Giants football player) spoke about the meaning of love and the sacredness of chastity. Echoing Paul's words to the Romans, the Ephesians, and the Corinthians, warned our students not to be deceived by the ways of the world. "Don't let it cloud you... Jesus won't fail you!"

Justin ended this phenomenal day with these words: "God knows the Truth and the Truth will set you free."