“To be the light of Christ in our work, play, and prayer. That’s the St. Benedict Way!” Over my time here it has become quite evident that this truly is the motto of St. Benedict Classical Academy, for our students and our teachers. This year, as a parent of a student here, I have become even more aware of how this motto is ingrained into our actions each and every day. Just a few weeks into the start of school, I was driving home with my daughter who recently began her SBCA tenure in the preschool and heard her in the backseat talking to herself. I could only make out a few words, but eventually heard her saying “we beseech thee”. I racked my brain wondering where this little three-year-old child would have heard those words, when it dawned on me she was attempting to pray the Angelus! Since she’s usually resting around noon when my husband or I typically recite this prayer, I knew it must be due to her preschool teachers patiently teaching and praying this daily with her and the rest of her three and four-year-old classmates.
Our teachers, who are the crux of this institution, are trying to get our children to Heaven even more so than trying to give them a great education (although they definitely do that as well!). I recently overheard a teacher mention to a student during an after school tutoring lesson, “Grades won’t get you to heaven, being virtuous will.” Here was this young teacher, choosing to spend a few hours after school (on a Friday, no less) to help her student learn the math lesson. Yet, she realized the more important lesson, to encourage him to become the light of Christ, in his work, prayer, and play. From the littlest students to our biggest, our teachers are encouraging them to be the light of Christ everywhere they go.
Our teachers’ dedication to this mission is evident in our students’ ability to evangelize within and beyond the school. From our older students who choose to kneel during morning prayer, to the chorus of second graders praying a Hail Mary when a fire truck drives by the school, to the first grader (new to our school) who tells his hometown soccer team about how Jesus and Mary were the only perfect people our children are the light of Christ. Or when I find a baby Jesus in the pocket of a fleece jacket in our Lost and Found bin, and am not able to discern which of our 255 students would be carrying around a miniature Jesus because it fits the MO of so many! Each of these children in our midst, and all of our teachers and families, are encouraging us all to strive to become the Light of Christ in all that we do.
AUTHOR: Riley Casey, Director of Operations