Catholic schools embrace tenets of the faith
By Maddie Lupori
Our vibrant schools within the Archdiocese are rooted in the same Catholic teachings and rituals, yet each school expresses the faith in a distinctive way. The following schools show how students can experience the breadth and depth of Catholicism through different religious traditions.
Notre Dame Academy
Instead of an eighth grade trip to popular locations like Chicago or Washington, D.C., Notre Dame Academy students in Minnetonka participate in a religious pilgrimage, bringing to life the rich history, tradition and faith-filled experience of Mary. Each May, the eighth graders begin in La Crosse, Wisconsin, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, followed by a visit to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help near Green Bay and finally unite in a seven-mile portion of the Walk to Mary.
“I organize [the trip], but God leads it,” said religion teacher Jeanne Sharp.
St. Anne’s School
Each morning at St. Anne’s School in Le Sueur, all 122 students gather in the hallway for morning prayer, surrounded by faculty and staff. Together, they recite the Pledge of Allegiance, recount a piece of the mission statement, acknowledge all birthdays and make announcements.
St. Anne’s Principal Diane Lee recalled her first morning prayer experience, where she was moved to tears.
“It is an important way to ground us to our faith and to acknowledge our community,” Lee said. “We can fit in the hall, and it makes us feel like a family.”
St. Peter Catholic School – North St. Paul
If you walk into St. Peter’s in North St. Paul on a Thursday morning, you would hear the chorus of the rock band Queen’s anthem “We Will Rock You” resonating through the hallways and students clapping to the beat on their desks. The school’s Rock Awards are an ode to Peter’s interaction with Jesus in Matthew 16:18: “You are rock and upon you I will build my church.” The school honors three students and teachers each week who exhibit virtues like charity, prudence, temperance, justice and compassion.
With the cornerstone of St. Peter’s mission to form virtuous leaders, Principal Alison Dahlman said the Rock Awards are a “way to concretely live out that part of our mission statement.”