St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a school community on November 16 for the annual Thanksgiving Prayer Service in the Academy Student Center. The service was planned by the SJA Liturgy Club.
Senior Lucy Parker welcomed the large gathering to the service, saying that Thanksgiving is a time to show our gratitude for the many gifts we have received. Senior Kristina Wilkerson read a poem that she wrote entitled Thankful for Thanksgiving.
Sophomore Sophia Montalbano read from the book of Psalms.
The Red Steppers performed a liturgical dance. They are under the direction of Jade McCune.
Montalbano read from the Gospel according to Mark. Sophomores Sarah Guidroz and Louisa deBlieux read reflections that they wrote.
As the Praise & Worship Band performed several songs, students, faculty and staff brought forth donations of canned food and placed them in boxes set around the gymnasium floor. The food drive will benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. White paper banners were rolled out across the gym floor, and students were invited to write on them with descriptions of the gifts and talents they are grateful for and willing to share with the world.
Junior Sophia Simoneaux reflected on the meaning of the food drive and prayed for God’s blessing over the items that will be part of how our Christian family will be able to gather around a Thanksgiving table and share the meal we often take for granted.
Montalbano read from second Chronicles, and Guidroz read another original reflection.
Following the prayer service, Campus Minister Jade Spears announced her office’s Advent schedule, including Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each morning and during all lunch periods on December 7, rosary each Wednesday morning and a Spanish rosary on December 12. She invited the school community to participate in the prayer opportunities.
Performing with the Praise & Worship Band were vocalists Anna Crasto and Julie Mistric, seniors; junior Emily Vennen; sophomore Sophie Stelly; and freshmen Hadley Tassin and Liv Duncan-Ali. Senior Adeline Fields was the keyboardist, senior Callie Suadi was the percussionist and Hugo Andricain played the guitar. Audio engineer was junior Lana Nguyen.
The service ended with the senior members of the Praise & Worship Band leading the singing of the Alma Mater.
The food drive collected 2,148 pounds of canned items, which is the equivalent to 1,790 meals.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine and Averi Truitt '25