St. Joseph’s Academy celebrated the annual Respect Life service with a virtual Liturgy of the Word on January 14 originating from the Chapel at SJA.
Senior Kennan Mashon welcomed those viewing the service, including SJA students, faculty/staff and family/friends watching the live stream from home. She lit a candle in the Chapel as students in classrooms and watching from home, as well as those joining the service online, lit candles as symbols of unity.
Joining Mashon as readers were junior Daniela Latil and sophomore Shobe Manuel.
SJA Pastoral Care Minister Sister Chris Pologa reflected on the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. “We dream of a time when all persons conceived will be born and every child will have the necessary food, clothing, decent housing, quality education, healthcare and equal opportunity to reach for their stars,” she said.
Sister Chris cited the dreams of our founding fathers, Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, for fairness, equity and justice.
As we celebrated the baptism of Jesus on Sunday, Sister Chris said we are mindful that he proclaimed an inclusive community rooted in love, where all are welcome and all have a place.
“Our baptism confirms our identity as a beloved of God,” Sister Chris said. “By virtual of being a member of the SJA community, we also have an affinity to our patron, St. Joseph, a dreamer. As Jesus’ modern-day disciples, we are called to act with justice, to love tenderly, to serve one another and to walk humbly with our God,” she said.
Following the service, senior Elizabeth Lemann, president of the SJA Respect Life Club, shared some of the club’s planned activities, including a guest speaker hosted by SJA’s Respect Life counterparts at Catholic High School; a Day for Life in conjunction with CHS, which takes the place of the Annual March for Life; and a lunch and learn gathering.
Principal Stacia Andricain announced the SJA faculty and staff members who are celebrating milestone years of service to Catholic education this year. The recognition is part of Catholic Schools Week, which will be celebrated January 31-February 6.
Recognized for 10 years of service were Hugo Andricain, Sharon Cashio, Lauren Sommer and Angelle Terrell. With 15 years of service: Cristina Benigno, Aubrey DeJohn, Greg Hanner,
Laurel Herrington, Michelle Lofland, Erin McLean, Amy Neck and Sara Rounds. Honored for 20 years of service was Dede LeBlanc. With 25 years of service: Stacia Andricain and Lena McGee. Honored for 40 years of service was Dana Murray, and recognized for 45 years was Glynis Davis.
Lending their musical talents to the service were sophomore Isabelle Gruner, keyboard, and senior Christin Ransome, vocals.
Theology faculty member and Liturgy Coordinator Hugo Andricain wrote the service. The livestream was presented on SJA’s Facebook page and was produced by faculty members Meghan McGinty and Sara Rounds. Production assistants were members of the SJABR TV student organization: senior Caroline Davis; juniors Abigail Martin, Carly McConnell and Megan Ottersetter; and freshman Addison Prochaska.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Erin Albarado