Month: January 2020

During Catholic Schools Week, Discover Stella Maris Academy

Stella Maris Super Heroes

On Monday, Officer Jeremy O’Connor of the Duluth Police Department came to the Holy Rosary campus with his canine partner Kallie, who is a bomb sniffing K-9 for the DPD. He presented to the students during our Superhero day of Catholic Schools week about what he and Kallie do for the community. The kids talked about why we consider them our superheroes and how they help keep us safe!

STELLA MARIS ACADEMY ADMISSIONS OFFICE

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 218-623-6253
Mailing Address: 2802 East 4th Street, Duluth MN 55812

STELLA MARIS ACADEMY BUSINESS OFFICE

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 218-623-6251
Mailing Address: 2802 East 4th Street, Duluth MN 55812


HOLY ROSARY CAMPUS

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (218) 724-8565
Address: 2802 East 4th Street, Duluth

ST. JOHN’S CAMPUS

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (218) 724-9392
Address: 1 West Chisholm Street, Duluth

ST. JAMES CAMPUS

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (218) 624-1511
Address: 715 North 57th Ave West, Duluth

9 Days for Life: Day 9

Intercession
May all who defend life find strength and renewal in the Holy Spirit.
Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
God has carefully, tenderly created every person in His own image and likeness, to be in a loving relationship with Himself. From each tiny child knit within a mother’s womb, to every person approaching death, all are loved perfectly and completely by God. “It is therefore a service of love,” Pope Saint John Paul II explains, “which we are all committed to ensure to our neighbor, that his or her life may be always defended and promoted, especially when it is weak or threatened [emphasis added]” (Evangelium vitae 77).​In a world in which the most vulnerable are so often overlooked and disregarded, Christ calls us to embrace and uphold the unconditional dignity of every human life. In answering this call, we help to build “a new culture of life, the fruit of the culture of truth and of love” (EV 77). May the Holy Spirit continually renew us as we strive to faithfully defend God’s gift of life.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Do you love your cup of tea or coffee? Abstain from caffeine today, or try your coffee black.
  • “Unplug” for some time, and reflect on how God may be asking you to help build a culture of life in your home, workplace, or Church community.
  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
Watching the news and reading headlines, we may often feel helpless in the face of heartbreaking lack of respect for human life. When our efforts to make a difference feel small, it’s important to remember that changing the culture is a process of conversion that begins in our own hearts. It includes a willingness to be instructed by the Holy Spirit and a desire to be close to Jesus—the source of joy and love. “How to Build a Culture of Life” briefly explains where to start

Intercession
May civic leaders work for the protection of all human life, in every stage and circumstance.
Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
The entire moral vision of our nation is based on respect for the dignity and sanctity of the human person. The Declaration of Independence boldly affirms that first among our inalienable rights is the right to life, given to us by the Creator. Yet despite being so solemnly proclaimed, the right to life is today threatened and often denied, particularly at the moments when life is most fragile. Our laws should—first and foremost—protect life; but currently our laws abandon the most vulnerable and violate our nation’s core principles. For “there can be no genuine justice in our society until the truths on which our nation was founded are more perfectly realized in our culture and law” (Living the Gospel of Life, 14). Laws and policies that legalize or promote an intrinsic evil like abortion violate the virtue of justice. Those who work as public officials and civic leaders have a duty to serve the common good, and therefore have a profound obligation to safeguard this most fundamental right. As Christians, we are called to be a leaven in the world, transforming our culture from within. Through our own prayer, witness, and civic participation, we can encourage our leaders to truly answer their call to protect the rights of all people. For “there can be no true democracy without a recognition of every person’s dignity and without respect for his or her rights” (Evangelium vitae 101).

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Sacrifice some of your free time to do a small act of service, such as making breakfast for a family member, writing a note of encouragement for a coworker, or praying for the intentions of a friend.
  • Sometimes restrictions on religious freedom constrain our efforts to live out the Gospel of Life. We must be free to live out our Catholic faith in the public square. Offer this Prayer for Religious Liberty, that Christians may always be free to respect, protect, and defend human life.
  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
In 2004, the U.S. bishops reaffirmed the Church’s consistent teaching that abortion is an intrinsic evil and offered guidance to Catholic politicians regarding this fundamental teaching. Read “Catholics in Political Life,” in which the bishops outline the responsibility of Catholics in the public square to share in the “unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times.” 

Intercession
May all who support or participate in abortion experience a conversion of heart to seek and receive the Lord’s boundless mercy.
Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
When God fashioned the human person in His own image and likeness, He destined us for eternal life with Him. Yet because of the sin of our first parents, death entered the world. The book of Genesis recounts the first occasion in which a person takes the life of another, as Cain violently kills his brother Abel. This instance of brother rising up against brother “at the very dawn of history is thus a sad witness of how evil spreads with amazing speed” (Evangelium vitae 8).​From the time of creation, disregard for human life has continued to spread. When we, like Cain, allow sin to find a place in our hearts, we become blinded to the truth. Sometimes this blindness might be so deep that we fail to recognize the undeniable humanity of unborn children. We may even tragically believe the lie that abortion is an act of compassion. But we know that “life, especially human life, belongs only to God: for this reason whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself” (EV 9). Let us pray that all who support abortion encounter the transforming love of the Father and, with repentant hearts, seek His mercy.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and to share the light of Christ with those most in need of His love and mercy.
  • Seek the intercession of Our Lady by praying a scriptural Rosary, meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries.
  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
Our culture is obsessed with perfection—a superficial perfection. Social media, magazines, and television are staged and edited to depict seemingly perfect lives. When life doesn’t seem to measure up to these standards, we may be tempted to believe it’s not worth living.​In “A Perfect Gift,” one parent shares about the experience of raising a child with Down syndrome, contrasting it with what onlookers might perceive: “It’s like looking at a stained-glass window from the outside: The colors look dark, and you can’t quite make out the figures. From the inside, however, with the sun shining through it, the effect can be brilliant. From inside our family, love illuminates our life with Charlie.* What may seem dreary to others, perhaps even unbearable, is actually filled with beauty and color.” Every life is a gift.

Intercession
May expectant mothers choosing adoption receive grace and support in embracing this loving option.
Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
Mothers placing their children for adoption often face many challenges along the way. One of the greatest obstacles can be inaccurately perceiving adoption as abandonment. But mothers who place their children for adoption are not abandoning their children. Rather, they are exemplifying the sacrificial love of Christ on the Cross in choosing to do what is best for their children, even at great cost to themselves. Like Christ, they pour out their bodies and souls for the sake of another. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that, in the face of fears and trials, we can “hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm” (Heb 6:18-19). We pray that all mothers considering adoption would be filled with “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7) and see the beauty of their sacrifice. Let us all cling fast to the anchor of hope, for we have received “a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Rom 8:15).

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Do you have a sweet tooth? Or do you prefer salty snacks? Pick your favorite kind of treat, and give it up for the day.
  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
Accompanying Expectant Mothers Considering Adoption” suggests nine ways to offer ongoing support to a woman who is considering placing her unborn child for adoption. Many of the tips given are also helpful for supporting a friend who is experiencing a challenging unexpected pregnancy, even if adoption has not been brought up.​Supplemental resources regarding adoption can be found at www.usccb.org/adoption-resources.

Intercession
May each person suffering from the loss of a child through abortion find hope and healing in Christ.
Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
After more than four decades of legalized abortion, many children’s lives have been ended, and many parents and family members suffer that loss—often in silence. Yet God’s greatest desire is to forgive. No matter how far we have each strayed from His side, He says to us, “Don’t be afraid. Draw close to my heart.” Be assured that it is never too late to seek God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Consider the parable of the Prodigal Son. After repenting of sinning against his father, he returns from far away to seek forgiveness and work as a servant. But the father sees him approaching, runs to warmly embrace him, and hosts a banquet to celebrate his return. So, too, does God welcome all of His repentant children, no matter how serious the sin. Let us turn confidently to Our Lord, Who is love and mercy.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Abstain from meat today.
  • Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for those who are suffering the loss of a child through abortion, asking that they find healing and peace.
  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
If a friend confided in you that she had an abortion, would you be able to listen and respond in a way that brings her closer to healing? Learn how in “How to Talk to a Friend Who’s Had an Abortion.”

Intercession
May expectant fathers lovingly support the mothers of their children in welcoming new life.
Prayers

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
Fatherhood has its origins in God, who chose to reveal Himself to us as Our Father, sending his only Son for the sake of our salvation. Fathers therefore have a special role “in revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God” (Familiaris consortio 25). Pope Saint John Paul II said fathers are called to exhibit “generous responsibility for the life conceived under the heart of the mother” (FC 25). They are uniquely entrusted with the protection and defense of both mother and child and, in this way, in safeguarding the sanctity of human life.​As evidenced in our world today, the role of the father “is of unique and irreplaceable importance” (FC 25). Often women choose abortion because they do not have the support of the child’s father, or—even worse—the father of the child pressures her to make the decision to abort. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge with compassion that men can also be overwhelmed by an unexpected pregnancy and that society increasingly tells them that they should have no say in their children’s lives. In the face of these false messages, we pray that expectant fathers will find courage in the example of St. Joseph—who embraced the role of father amid difficult circumstances—and offer loving, life-affirming support to the mothers of their children
.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Give up sleeping on your pillow—or even your bed—tonight. Offer this small sacrifice for the intention that expectant fathers would courageously answer their call to support both mother and child.
  • Pray a decade of the Rosary for all expectant fathers, that through her intercession, Our Lady may inspire in them the virtues of St. Joseph.
  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
Research continues to show that one of the top reasons a woman chooses abortion is due to a lack of financial resources. Read “Poverty and Abortion: A Vicious Cycle,” which explores the connections between abortion and poverty, and how the absence of fathers contributes to this ongoing cycle.

Intercession
May every expectant mother receive compassionate care and support as she nurtures the life in her womb.
Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she opened her heart to receive his message that she would conceive the Son of God in her womb. As a young, betrothed, but unmarried, woman, Mary knew that her pregnancy presented many challenges. Despite this knowledge, she faithfully responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). ​Like the Blessed Mother, women who unexpectedly become pregnant often face significant challenges. They, too, are called to place their trust in God and faithfully respond to His gift of new life. And we are called to walk with them in their time of need. As Jesus taught us, when we love and serve others, we are loving and serving Him.​May all expectant mothers be encouraged by Mary’s example and receive support and grace in lovingly welcoming their children into the world.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Abstain from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
  • Pray the Angelus today. You might also consider saying it every day for the next week—on awakening, at noon, or at 6 p.m. (or all three times).
  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
When a woman is facing an unexpected pregnancy, the reaction of the first person she tells tends to set the tone for her decision-making. Pregnancy can be difficult and frightening, but no matter the circumstances, it’s important for an expectant mother to feel supported and loved. Read “10 Ways to Support Her When She’s Unexpectedly Expecting” for simple tips on how to provide loving, life-affirming support for a friend who is unexpectedly pregnant. Your support may be the only support she receives.

9 Days for Life: Day 1

Intercession
May all unborn children be protected in law and welcomed in love.
Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
Today, on this 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we mourn the many children’s lives ended by abortion and remember in prayer those who suffer the aftermath. The Church comes together today to pray for the protection of all unborn children and to make reparation for abortion, trusting that the Lord hears our prayers. Pope Saint John Paul II wrote, “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer” (Evangelium vitae, 100). May that prayer arise in our hearts today and each day forward until every human being is protected in law and welcomed in love
.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Fast from one meal today.
  • Offer this brief “Prayer for Life” for all unborn children whose lives are at risk. 

Father and maker of all,you adorn all creation with splendor and beauty,and fashion human lives in your image and likeness.Awaken in every heart reverence for the work of your hands,and renew among your people a readiness to nurture and sustain your precious gift of life.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,God forever and ever.

  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
More women and girls consider abortion than we may realize. They are our relatives and friends, people who work with us or for us. Even if someone identifies as being pro-life, the shock of an unexpected pregnancy, the devastation of a difficult prenatal diagnosis, shame, pressures, or fears may influence her to consider abortion.​If someone shared with you that she was pregnant and hadn’t ruled out having an abortion, would you know how to respond in a loving way that is life-affirming for both her and her baby? Learn about the four steps of the L.O.V.E. Approach™*: Listen and Learn, Open Options, Vision and Value, and Extend and Empower.
*The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is trademarked by Heartbeat International, Inc. and may not be adapted or modified. The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is used in “What to Do When a Friend Is Considering Abortion” with permission from Heartbeat International, Inc.

DAY 1

Intercession
May the tragic practice of abortion end.
Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection
At every stage and in every circumstance, we are held in existence by God’s love. The presence of an illness, disability, or other challenging situation never diminishes the value of a human life. God does not call us to perfection of appearance or abilities, but to perfection in love. Christ invites us to embrace our own lives and the lives of others as true gifts.
Abortion tragically rejects the truth that every life is a good and perfect gift, deserving protection. This violent practice ends the life of a human being at its very beginning and horribly wounds all those involved. But Christ came that we “might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), taking on human flesh for the sake of our redemption. May our culture experience the power of God’s transforming love, that all eyes may be opened to the incredible beauty of every human life.
Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • Take a break from television and movies today. Consider spending some of that time praying with today’s reflection.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the precious gift of life.Help us to cherish and protect this gift, even in the midst of fear,pain, and suffering.Give us love for all people,especially the most vulnerable,and help us bear witness to the truth that every life is worth living.
Grant us the humility to accept help when we are in need,and teach us to be merciful to all.Through our words and actions,may others encounter the outstretched hands of Your mercy.We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
Abortion is frequently a topic in the news, political debates, and everyday conversations with family or friends. Because abortion can be a controversial and emotional issue in any arena, many of us may feel intimidated when the topic arises, not knowing what to say. “Another Look at Abortion” provides a basic overview and summarizes key points. This article will help you be better prepared to witness to the sanctity of human life.

The Literary Luncheons at Stella Maris Academy, St. John’s

The Literary Luncheon Club at Stella Maris


Literary Luncheons are the best! About once a month, Mrs. Larson and her students spend a lunch period discussing a classic or contemporary classic novel that students have read independently over the previous month. 

Then after school, they watch a film of the book, discuss its merits and faithfulness (or not) as an adaptation, and eat movie-themed snacks.

The size of the group involved varies depending on interest and reading difficulty, but even so– look at this big happy group of students who participated in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring!”

A Financial Gift of Substantial Means Presented to Stella Maris Academy

Stella Maris Academy wishes to announce the school was recently the recipient of a private donation in the amount of $250,000. This extraordinary gift demonstrates great confidence in Stella Maris Academy’s vision for Catholic school education in Duluth. 

Hilaire Hauer, president of Stella Maris Academy, said, “This gift exemplifies a certain movement in our community: people coming together to support Catholic school education in Duluth.” 

This gift enables the school to meet annual budget needs and further strategic plan priorities. The school relies on community support and fundraising in order to maintain affordable Catholic education. Income from family tuition provides 60% of daily operational costs, while the remaining 40% is made up of generous parish and community support, and donations such as this one. 

Every gift matters to Stella Maris Academy. Last year, the school was the recipient of over $425,000 in private donations, both large and small. SMA is immeasurably grateful for all of its supporters whose donations of time, talent, and treasure enable us to provide exceptional Catholic school education in Duluth for today’s students and future generations. 

With three campuses located across Duluth, Stella Maris Academy is a Catholic Liberal Arts school educating children Pre-K through 8th grade. Stella Maris Academy places high importance on educating the whole child through four pillars of education: intellectual, spiritual, human and the care of others through stewardship. 

Opportunities to donate to Stella Maris Academy can be found online at: Grateful, Thankful, Blessed To learn more about SMA, visit: www.stellamaris.academy