The Lenten season is early this year. On Ash Wednesday, our students were walking to Saint Joseph’s Church in winter jackets, stepping over snowbanks. I’m hoping the groundhog in Pennsylvania was right! All the students hope the winter season passes quickly. However, as we get older, we all know the winter months serve an important purpose. The mountains receive their snowcaps that later irrigate the spring crops, the farmer’s barren field receives its much-needed nutrients, the earth gets the opportunity to be “reborn” with the advent of spring. I always look upon the Lenten season in the same light. Over the next 40 days, what preparation do I need to take to make myself a better person entering Holy Week? The winter months and the Lenten season are both necessary if we want to enjoy the warmth of springtime and the glow and anticipation of Easter Sunday.
Lent is also a time of almsgiving. Our students have generous hearts and care for others. In addition to the service hours that they are required to perform, they often volunteer even more hours in service to their communities. One student in the Social Justice Club recently enlisted members to help her organize a collection of personal care items and household cleaning supplies to benefit survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking at Sojourner House in Providence.
Our students are also achieving amazing results in other areas of their high school experience: one of our seniors has earned an acceptance to Harvard, our athletic teams have already won five state championships, and the drama program produced a fall musical that I thought exceeded all that I have witnessed during my tenure at Saint Raphael Academy.
The students continue to amaze me with their abilities, but their financial need is great. Today, I am hoping you might consider helping some of our students stay at Saint Raphael Academy. The finance office reminds me almost daily that most incoming students are requesting aid, and many of our current students are hoping to receive additional financial support for the next year. The Academy does the best we can, and any support you can provide would be greatly appreciated. All monies collected during the Lenten Appeal will go directly to keeping our students at Saint Raphael Academy.
As we begin the celebration of our centennial anniversary at Saint Raphael Academy, we recognize that we have always been blessed by the kindness and generosity of our alumni. Your gifts can (and often) change the lives of our students. I cannot thank you enough for everything you’ve done for the Academy, but more importantly, for our wonderful students! My hope is your Lenten season nurtures your spiritual development and that you have a blessed Easter Sunday.
Head of School
Saint Raphael Academy