Hello! This is Ms. Boran reporting from Stella Maris Academy’s middle school campus at St. John’s! This is my first year working for Stella Maris and I am serving as the Faith Formation Director. One of my responsibilities is campus ministry for our middle schools.
I’d like to give you a glimpse into faith formation taking place at St. John’s this Lenten season. We are keeping it simple and as a school are focusing on the three traditional themes of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
This year our students began Lent by brainstorming in their weekly small groups how they could each fast, pray, and give (alms) this season. It involved students considering their daily lives and what things get in the way of their relationship with Christ. They each came up with a few personal Lenten goals that pertain to their daily lives and faith. I’ve been very impressed by a few of our students who willingly gave up their iPads, TV or other technology in order to grow in their faith and to simplify their lives. Some of the students have expressed surprise at their revived contentment with “old-fashioned” leisure, like reading and hiking! I’m excited to see them continue to grow in this awareness as Lent continues.
Each of our homerooms are dedicating part of their morning meetings to some form of Lenten prayer. They are also holding you, the parish community, up in prayer this season!
The whole school is also attending weekly Stations of the Cross led by Fr. Rich on Thursday afternoons. The students will have also have an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this season. In addition to Fr. Rich we have four priests from the Duluth parishes who have generously offered to come hear our students’ confessions.
We have also arranged Lenten retreats for each grade, which offer the students an opportunity to step away from the classroom and have time to learn more about this sacred season and to provide them with an opportunity to slow down and to connect with Christ in the midst of their week.
As a campus we are undertaking a food drive this March to help support the CHUM food shelf. Each week we’ll be collecting a particular food item on the CHUM Most Needed list. Our hope is that students will look to their own pockets and piggy banks for the funding of this food drive making it a more personal sacrifice and effort to feed the hungry as the Gospel commands us.
Hunger statistics will also be displayed in the cafeteria to spur a greater awareness of the local needs as well as an appreciation for the delicious food made available to us by our kitchen staff.
Please continue to pray for our students, staff and the mission of our school!
AND ON ANOTHER NOTE: BULLSEYE!
Many students chose to learn archery as one of the multiple electives offered during the second trimester.