May 2016

Dear Parents,

This week the feast of the Ascension, forty days after Easter, takes place. The message of Jesus addressed to his disciples is a message for us also two millennia later. We are all called to teach, to witness, and to heal in our own small corners of the world.  We are challenged to hand on to others the story that has been handed on to us about Jesus and his Gospel of love and compassion. We have experienced the extraordinary event of Christ in our lives. Now Christ hands on to us the responsibility of bringing the blessings and grace of that experience to others.  Parents as first educators of your daughters and sons do this each day by your teaching and modeling to them the Gospel of Jesus. Teachers at school reflect the way Jesus would act by the love and compassion they show the children. Jesus’ message is alive today in our Academy by the way parents and teachers live their lives.

On May 15th we will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost when we are re-created as God’s instruments; consider this similarity:  the piece of wood the craftsman fashions to become a violin or guitar, a beautiful work of art remains just a piece of wood until a musician takes it up and breathes into it by manipulating strings. This transforms it into a musical instrument, a portal for us to a world of beauty. The mystery of the Church is like a musical instrument. God has formed us into a community, an instrument for bringing his life and love into our world. What makes the Church more than just a gathering of good people is God’s “breath” infusing it with the music of his divinity. The feast of Pentecost celebrates that unseen presence of God in our lives, in our Church, and in our Academy community. It enables us to do the work of Gospel justice and mercy. God “breathes” his Spirit into our souls that we may live in his life and love; God ignites the “fire” of his Spirit within our hearts and minds that we might see God in all things. The next time you hear the music at Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy, the violins, the tin whistles, guitars, keyboards, glockenspiels, or beautiful voices think Pentecost and the music of God’s divinity and the presence of God in our lives. The beauty and the music of the May Spring shows happens this month at the campuses; be sure to attend!

A grant from the Highland Street Foundation has been given to middle school students at the Columbia campus. Students will engage in discussions and be empowered to collectively choose and fund nonprofit organizations that are addressing the most pressing community and societal needs.

Other good news is that the Lower Mills campus has been chosen to receive a custom built playground in the schoolyard for students. The KaBOOM! Project Design Team involved all students drawing designs to create the playground plan and the Build Day is scheduled for the first week of June. The project is worth over $120,000!

Reminder: re-registration is due; pay the deposit to hold the seat for September. Invite other students to enroll and earn $100 credit from your tuition balance!  Also applications for Summer Camp are available now.

Blessings to you and your family,

Sister Ellen Powers, CSJ
Regional Director