Mary Help of Christians Academy

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Focus On: Campus Ministry & Service

Contributed by Sr. Brittany, Campus Minister
The end of the Christmas season has brought us back to the "normalcy" of ordinary time, but if your life is like mine, there is never a "normal" season! In the theology wing, we have been slowly taking down the Christmas decorations and beginning to reflect on the gift of love as St. Valentine's Day approaches.
January is a big month for Salesians, and the Freshmen are delving into the life of the founder of the Salesians, St. John Bosco, whose feast day is coming up on January 31st, while the Sophomores are exploring St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body. (Interested parents may view the 41-minute summary of the course in the video below.)
Juniors are finishing their Sacraments course before they transition into Moral Theology and the Seniors prepared and presented their final projects for World Religions where they founded their own religions according to the basic sociological standards of what makes a religion. Next semester the Seniors will explore the concept of "Vocations" and what God is calling them to do with the gift of their lives, in addition to deepening their understanding of the gift and responsibility of being a woman.
March for Life
Sr. Brittany, Sr. Myriam, and Sr. Jen took a group of students to the March for Life on January 18th. We were fortunate to receive from the Students for Life of America a grant to attend their yearly national leadership conference, in addition to enjoying some historical sites like the Lincoln Memorial, a tour of the Capitol and of course seeing the National Basilica and the Shrine of St. John Paul II.
Catholic Schools Week
This nationwide event, held annually during the last week of January, is fast approaching! This year's theme is "Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed." In view of that, we are coordinating various learning and serving opportunities throughout the week for our students, including a self-defense course lead by Elite Black Belt Academy of North Haledon, a Salesian trivia quiz bowl, and a special surprise for Don Bosco Day. Families are welcome to join us in the gym at 10am on January 31 for the feast day Mass of St. John Bosco (the founder of the Salesians). Our priest will be Salesian Fr. Steve Ryan, SDB, featuring music by the Academy Choir.
Quarter 3 service hours are due March 19. Students hoping to qualify for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and ALL SENIORS, must have their service hours for the year completed by April 30th. Students can access through the "Service Hour" web clip on their iPads a spreadsheet and see their current status per quarter.
Qualifications for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award at available here. Students may submit hours via the paper service hour form or the MobileServe app on their iPad. I will continue to forward service hour opportunities to students as they become available. Just as a reminder: unless there is a special circumstance that has been cleared with me, parents may not sign off on their child's service hours; it must be a representative of the organization with which the student served.
Families, please feel free to email me directly with your special prayer intentions that I can share with our students and the elderly Sisters of our provincial house. You may indicate if you need the intentions to be private or anonymous. The Sisters are privileged to pray with you as part of our Mary Help family.