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Academy of Our Lady

Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
This weekend marks our fifteenth annual Academy of Our Lady Weekend. It is a time when we try to highlight one of the most important, but often unrecognized, ministries of our parish — our Catholic School. At all our weekend liturgies, the various ministries, readers, gift bearers, ministers of hospitality, will be filled by students from the Academy, just to remind us about the school’s presence as one of our apostolates. In addition, Dr. Patrick Martin, our school principal will introduce himself after all the masses. Please be sure to read his impressive biography which appears in this week’s bulletin.

Because it’s not on site and because it doesn’t bear the parish name (as it doesn’t bear the name, St. Catharine School, our other co-sponsoring partner), and because it’s called an academy, we might forget that the Academy of Our Lady is our PAROCHIAL school, and not a private school. It advances the apostolate of the parish, as an instrument for formation and education in the Catholic faith. It fulfills the objective of the Parish Mission Statement that appears weekly on the front cover of the bulletin, believing in Jesus Christ, embracing his teaching to be the light of the world—into the future. The heart of the school, and we make no bones about it or apologies for it, is faith formation—a solid grounding in the beliefs of Catholicism, lived out in a community of love, respect and joy. God, Jesus Christ, religion and values are very much a part of the daily life of the student, in instruction, in atmosphere and in the personal relationships between teachers and students and students and students. Studies demonstrate that the pattern of living one’s faith as an adult is set by the time a child reaches the age of fourteen. The Academy is a place where that pattern is set.

As I always do, I want to add a few facts about the school, and especially its academic standing. Five years ago, the accreditation of the Academy was renewed by Middle States after a formal visitation of the school, reviewing its curriculum, faculty and administration and educational program and vision and, shortly after that, the Academy of Our Lady was named a Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education, recognizing the academic excellence achieved by its students. It is the highest educational award given by the federal government. To even apply for this award, student performance on nationally normed testing must place the school in the top 15%, nationwide, in reading and mathematics. (If you think being a Blue Ribbon School might not mean anything, just a week or so ago, the Record carried an article that Glen Rock High School was awarded the honor). The teachers are state-certified, many have advanced degrees and all have been through the state-mandated background checks. As noted in his bio. the principal of the Academy is a PhD. Subjects such as computer science, art, music, Spanish are also part of the curriculum. And the school consistently does well in academic competition and standardized testing. It is an excellent investment in your children’s future.

This brings me to another part of the weekend, the Annual Fund Appeal. Beyond tuition and the subsidy support which comes directly from the Archdiocese, additional resources are needed to keep the school flourishing. Some of these resources come from the fund-raising of the Home and School Association, but an important part is this Annual Fund Appeal. Each year, I ask each of our parish households (myself included), to pledge a hundred dollars, as a single gift or a monthly payment for the next four months, to help us continue to make this important way of providing Catholic formation available for future generations. At $25. a month, it is an investment in the future of the Catholic community that is certainly worth it. Needless to say, larger donations are always appreciated. Catholic School education is a proven plus when it comes to practicing and being active members of the Church in the future. I pledge; won’t you join me in this crusade for our children. Envelopes are in the pews and may be placed in the baskets with your ordinary gift or in the boxes at all the doors of the church. Thank you.
God bless,

Fr. Ron

PS. Because these pledges go directly to the Academy, there is no option to make a pledge through WeShare, our electronic giving link.
PPS. You will notice a change in our Communion cups for the next couple of months. Our regular cups have been sent out to be regilded and reshaped.

weeklybulletin1

Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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