The value of our Catholic school program goes beyond the mere academic programs that we deliver to our students. In fact, the program does more than serve the spiritual needs and establish a foundation of faith for the souls of our young people. St. Agnes School is rooted in its mission to Forming Students in Virtue of Heart, Mind and Soul. And as a faith-filled educational community, we frame the experiences of our day as an opportunity to seek and discover the truth in giving glory and honor to our Lord. As I reflect back to the joy of this past week, I know well that God was present in each and every moment.
God’s presence was with our students as they recently concluded eight hours of standardized testing that was spread out over five days. The Iowa Assessment tests help teachers identify our student’s strengths and areas that may require additional emphasis. The assessments also measure student growth and progress and produce information that provides a focus for the teachers to evaluate our instruction. Such valuable information aids our school in providing a program aimed at meeting the needs of our students.
The presence of our Lord has also been included this month in our focus on the Catholic Social Teaching theme of “Care for God’s Creation”. With the recent celebration of Earth Day, our morning Community Meeting gathering has allowed St. Agnes the opportunity to remind our students that everyday should be viewed as a gift from God. A gift where we honor the blessings of all creation as a sign of His love. More to this point, the following prayer has been offered each day during our Community Meeting as an occasion in which to pause and offer praise for His creations:
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty...Amen
Also included as part of each of our Community Meetings is a brief address by our 8th Grade and Pre-Kindergarten classes. During their morning presentations they provided statistics about the damaging effects that unnatural elements can have upon the natural world. During the presentations, these Prayer Partner grade levels also provided suggestions to the school community on how we might more thoughtfully care for the gift of God’s creations by focusing our guardianship of our Earth by reusing, repurposing, reducing and recycling.
As this past week concluded, a joy filled group of vocalists represented Bear Nation at the Archdiocese of Baltimore Choral Festival. As an attending group, our Cherub and Choir groups shared the gift of their voices as they offered glory to our Lord and delivered a remarkable performance as if they were sent down as angels from Heaven. A special note of gratitude to Dan Baker and Julie Williams for all of their work with our young vocalists.
What a week!