30 March, 2012


We are pleased and proud to announce the Students in Action of NJ High School Awards for 2012!  The top point* scoring school will represent New Jersey in the Jefferson Awards National Ceremony and compete for the national title in Washington D.C. June 18-20, 2012.

Gold Banner and Top Scoring School in New Jersey  
Benedictine Academy, Elizabeth, NJ:       99.5 points  
(This represents Benedictine Academy's second year as top school, qualifying them to move up to the Ambassador level of national competition next year.  Congratulations!)

Washington Township High School, Sewel, NJ:    88 points
Middletown High School North, Middletown, NJ:    68 points
Woodstown High School, Woodstown, NJ:    68 points
Rising Star Academy, Union City, NJ:    56.5 points
Deptford High School, Deptford, NJ:    39.5 points

A year of committed service and leadership. The world is changed by their efforts. 
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our Lord through Compassionate Action.  At Benedictine Academy, we believe that we have a personal responsibility to act justly in making our world a better place.  It is a privilege and God's grace.  How awesome is that!

27 March, 2012

Benedictine Academy WINS THE 2012 GOLD MEDAL Jefferson Award Students In Action Northern New Jersey Regional Competition

The Jefferson Awards-Deloitte Students in Action is proud to announce that Benedictine Academy High School has achieved the 2012 Gold Medal Banner for Service Leadership and has won the Northern New Jersey State Competition.  Benedictine Academy was evaluated by a panel of judges from United Way, Verizon, College of St. Elizabeth, and another New jersey College for their oratory and presentation skills, as well as outstanding service leadership efforts in serving the local and global communities.  
The Jefferson Awards Students in Action is currently operating in over 450 high schools nationwide and in 13 regions: Charleston, Chicago, Delaware, Central Florida, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, the San Francisco Bay Area, Savannah and Toledo. The Jefferson Awards will select one outstanding high school as the national honoree.  Each state regional high school, along with the national honoree, will be showcased as part of the National Jefferson Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC in June.   
We give thanks to God for this great honor and Ms. Karen Hatcher, our Regional SIA Director for her support and guidance to BA and all the schools.  A special thanks to our brothers at St. Benedict's Prep for coming to cheer us on!

Please say a prayer that we hear more "Good News" this week regarding the entire State Competition.  

22 March, 2012

Our Brothers in Christ

This afternoon our brothers from St. Benedict's Prep came to BA to meet with our Students In Action Leadership Team.  The students at St. Benedict's Prep have joined us and are now officially a Jefferson Awards Students In Action School.

Our students brainstormed regarding the 7 directives and  the plan for designing a powerful public volunteer service leadership program.  They discussed, ate and laughed together as BA shared their journey.

The girls presented their new SIA toolkit for delivering Happiness.  It contained a newly designed SIA Roadmap to Success, ALL IN Jefferson Award Students In Action Rally Towels, the SIA handout of the 7 directives and BA Rule,  and Skittles to bring a smile to any person's face.  

St. Benedict's Prep will be joining us Tuesday at the SIA Regional Competition for 2012.  Say a little prayer  that our team rocks during the competition!

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations

Princeton University

20 March, 2012

Reconciliation Service

During this Lenten Season, our students and staff were invited to attend a Reconciliation Service held at St. Walburga Monastery Chapel.

We were blessed to have Father Edwin Leahy and Father Mark Payne of St. Benedict's Prep join us, along with our good neighbor Father Tom Provezano.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a most wonderful experience.  

While our modern society has lost the notion of wrong doing and the importance of a clean heart, the Catholic Church recognizes the power of God's healing love.  
How blessed are we!

19 March, 2012

Lectio Divina

Every Friday during Lent, the St. Walburga Monastery Chapel bell sounds
calling our school community to prayer with our Lord...
 and we enjoy the silence.

15 March, 2012


Last week the phone rang...

 Hi.  This is the UNODC.  We would like to invite you to a special conference on Human Trafficking with actress/author/humanitarian Ashley Judd.

When the United Nations calls, we say YES!  It was the most amazing time.

"Ashley Judd, a graduate of Harvard's Business Management School, is one of the most beautiful people we have ever been blessed to meet", said Mrs. Michalski.  "Her charm, intellect, and compassionate heart for the victims of human trafficking are both enchanting and inspiring", added Sr. Donna Jo.

Her new book, All That Is Bitter & Sweet, received its' title from the following passage:

"Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good; 
by itself it makes everything that is heavy, light; and
 it bears evenly all that is uneven.
For love carries a burden that is no burden, and
makes everything that is bitter sweet and tasteful."
    Thomas A. Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

She said, "I learned early on that I can't keep what I have but I need to give it away. And what I have is not mine, but God's ...    Remember, what comes from the head, goes straight over the head and what comes from the heart, goes straight to the heart.

"The simple act of caring is a lot.
Sometimes it is all that I have, but it is enough.
 If I can help one person, I've done a good thing."
Ashley Judd

Ms. Judd explains that "Jesus is one of the original bearers of social justice."  He was a radical and very much part of the reason that she fights against human slavery.

The Globe Changers invited our Model UN Team to join them. Mr. Martinelli, the Moderator of the Model UN Team was excited for the opportunity. Just the day before, the Model UN Students were in a competition at St. Peter's College. One of our Senior student leaders, Andrea, won for the best prepared position paper. It was as if God was preparing them for the real thing!


Career Day at BA is another one of the distinguishing events that provide our students with the privilege to experience first-hand the business acumen and passion of over 35 professional women in the field of medicine, law, health care, education, architecture, literary arts, hotel management, and graphic web design.  Professors, Lawyers, Doctors, Entrepreneurs, and CEO's spoke woman to woman, regarding the workforce, ethics, and opportunities within their field of expertise. 

At the conclusion of the workshops, there was an informative panel discussion by these accomplished business women.  They shared about the importance of integrity and standing up with confidence for strong moral values - doing what is right even against the tide.  A few of the women who were alumnae shared that they continue to live by the Benedictine Values they learned over 30 years ago.

(Ms. Anderson's beautiful daughter and niece.)

Students were filled with enthusiasm as they learned leadership skills and made connections for future intern positions.  Creativity, Communication, and Connectivity are an integral part of a person's success.  Special thanks to Mary Young and Rosemary Anderson for their vision and phenomenal orchestration of such an enriching program.   

08 March, 2012


Our Students In Action Team awarded four new students with a certificate for outstanding volunteer service during the month of February.  These students generously served little children at daycares or pre-schools in their local communities.  They gave from the heart with their time and talent serving selflessly between 12 - 24 hours in the past month.  We applauded Krystal Burns, Jada Yarbough, Bernite Mercival, and Stephanie Silva. 

We also awarded nine additional students for being ALL IN by completing or exceeding their annual volunteer service hour goal.

At Benedictine Academy, we believe we have a shared responsibility
to serve our brother and sister in need. It is our privilege and our honor.


Justin Fatica, a Catholic Evangelist, is known across the country for his hi-energy intense emotional talks that keep it real about God and His unconditional love for each of us.  He stands strong against drugs, sex, violence and hate that teenagers are bombarded with from our false world and media every day. 

His message is simple.  "You are beautiful. You are Amazing."  Justin invites our young people to make a commitment to Jesus.  It is God's healing love and forgiveness working through each other that will transform our world.  He delivers God's message of hope against hope in our struggling times.  JUSTIN FATICA is AMAZING!


 There have been serious concerns raised regarding a powerful campaign that is sweeping young America called Kony's Campaign.  IC's (Invisible Children) video speaks about the evil one man named Kony has done against women and children in Uganda.  This is true, however it is a very complex issue. There are other disturbing facts associated with IC.  We encourage you to read for yourself.




 Our students are  passionate about helping eradicate human trafficking.  We will only support organizations that we know the facts about such as Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, Polaris Project,  the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign, and Catholic Relief Services.

05 March, 2012


Hi all. Mike Jones, our Athletic Director, needs our help.  He is trying to win equipment for our  sports program at BA! There is a contest by MSG and most votes wins!  We can win because we have BIG SPIRITS.    The school with the most votes, the most spirit, wins!  We have only one week from today - March 12. You can vote as many times as you like,,. every minute on the hour.  Ask your friends and family to join us on facebook and twitter. 

When you go on this link, www.Schoolspiritmania.com press vote and scroll down until you see New Jersey - Benedictine Academy. Click on BA and vote on the LEFT ARROW under our school.
 Together, if we are ALL IN, we will win.  Thank you for your help.