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2016-2017 St. Edith Stein Report

Posted: 4/22/2016


Honor Society Annual Report

 

The RCA St. Edith Stein Honor Society enjoyed a banner year. Thanks to the dedication of our advisers and students, the works of mercy were brought from Regina Caeli out into the community. Please read on for accounts of the graces given and received through our honors students!

 

SESHS Albany!

Adviser: Sr. Laurie Marie Parisi, C.R.

With the conclusion of the 2016-2017 academic year, it is time to for the Albany Chapter of the Edith Stein Honor Society to review and assess this past year’s activities in light of the mission statement as outlined in the Society’s Constitution, which states:  “...to promote excellent scholarship, encourage service in both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and to honor virtue in the high school students of Regina Caeli Academy.”  

An integral part of the Honor Society’s mission deals with the character of the members.  The Honor Society selects individuals who are pursuing the seven heavenly virtues. The Honor Society was successful in this, as was demonstrated by the fact that multiple of its members were bestowed virtue awards at RCA’s annual virtue ceremony. Additionally the members took up a leadership role by frequently volunteering to lead the Upper School in the daily recitation of the Angelus or Regina Caeli prayers.  The Society also organized and lead in the praying of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with most of the Albany center present.

However, the central part of the Honor Society’s identity is in the performance of the Works of Mercy.  The members of the Albany Chapter were actively involved with Rainbow of Friends program. This program is run through a local Catholic parish and focuses on giving faith formation to special needs children. The members of the Honor Society were able to offer assistance with the daily challenges special needs children and their families face. Additionally, the members were representatives of Christ, as they visited and helped instruct the children in faith formation. The Honor Society also brought a profound love with them and validated the value of all human life, regardless of circumstances. This act is crucial in a world that often overlooks and underappreciates special needs people. A world that often sees them as a liability and not a person made in God’s image and likeness.  

A particular example of the Honor Society’s impact on the community stands out. One child in Rainbow of Friends suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome, this handicapped her in many ways. Despite her lifelong condition, she was often filled with joy especially when listening to a sung version of the Hail Mary. In May of 2017 she unexpectedly passed away at the young age of 12. The Honor Society was lucky enough to know her and form a friendship with her, a friendship that endures beyond this life. The Honor Society had a Mass said for the repose of her soul and is confident that they have gained a friend in heaven. This is the very essence of the Honor Society, at its best the Honor Society is helping our brothers and sisters both spiritually and temporally. The Society brought Christ to the world and fulfilled Christ’s teaching of “whatever you did for the least of these my brethren, you have done for me” (Mt. 25:40)

Patrick Michael Sweeney;  Albany Chapter Secretary

 

SESHS Atlanta!

 

Adviser: Mrs. Nikki Hand

The Atlanta center was blessed to have fifteen members participate in the St. Edith Stein Honor society 2016-2017.  The members elected officers, participated in leadership modules and worked on both individual and group service projects.  As a group we volunteered at the Crisis Pregnancy Center; creating bracelets that will be sold to fund the center, stuffing baby bottles for baby bottle boomerang and organizing the baby boutique.  The students served as ambassadors at our Open House, welcoming guests and sharing about Regina Caeli.  The members organized a formal dance for 7th-12th grade home schoolers in order to earn money to finish the Marian grotto honoring Fr. Joseph Peek. Funds were raised, honor society members had several work days and the garden was completed.  The dedication was on May 19, 2017 with members of the Peek family present.
 

SESHS Dallas!

Adviser: Mrs. Jane Rowley

Our Dallas SESHS has been busy with the Works of Mercy.  In the fall, members organized a prayer vigil at an abortion clinic and promoted more prayer with a prayer intention exchange among the Upper Schoolers during Advent.  They led a sing-along Advent visit to the Brookdale Senior Residence where they brought many RCA families to the Memory Care unit to visit the sick.  Members observed St. Nicholas Day by secretly filling Lower School shoes with candy and a holy card.  In the new year, Society members helped the poor by conducting a diaper drive for Saint Vincent de Paul.  They gathered again for more prayer outside a Planned Parenthood.  In order to instruct the ignorant, they made a poster informing about the Divine Mercy message and posted a painting of the Divine Mercy image.  Members encouraged the middle schoolers with personal notes for each 7th and 8th grade student.  These messages noted positive observations of the middle schoolers as well as helpful advice and saint quotes.  All in all, the SESHS used this past school year to enact the Works of Mercy in RCA Dallas and beyond.

 

SESHS Detroit! 

Advisers: Mrs. Janet Pogasic, Mrs. Jennifer Propson

In the past few weeks, the Detroit chapter of the St. Edith Stein Honor Society had the opportunity to volunteer at the St. Bonaventure soup kitchen. The mission encompassed a plethora of tasks, and, sadly, I have no divine wisdom to divulge from my time spent stocking produce and packaging eggs. What did edify me, however, was our experience simply eating lunch with the fellow patrons of the soup kitchen. As you may imagine, the majority of visitors to St. Bonaventure are the poor and homeless. After a short conversation, held over spaghetti, the most important lesson learned from the trip was actually that our fellow diners were not the poor and homeless, but simply, human beings who happened to be experiencing poverty. The men we met, shockingly, had more dimensions to them than their lack of material goods. They loved music. When I asked what his favorite item on his plate was, one man responded with tongue in cheek: “the food”. While we oftentimes think of “the homeless” as a soulless amalgam; a far-off “thing” which exists solely for us to throw money at and practice charity towards. If there was any doubt in any Edith Stein members prior to this trip, it is clear to me that there can no longer be any: that the homeless are people; the same as you or me. And that our identity is found not in material wealth or lack thereof, but in the One Who formed it.SESHS Houston!

Adviser: Mrs. Katie Alvarez


 The Houston St. Edith Stein Honor Society is made up of 4 young ladies.  Our service projects at RCA Houston:
cemter wide Thanksgiving food drive, volunteering at the food bank, school spiritual bouquet for Mrs. Scarchili, youth group pancake breakfast, volunteered at Confirmation Retreat, attended funeral of baby Castillo, a family member of our community, praying at cemetery, visiting retired priests care center, and lastly during Lent the society conducted an ongoing toiletries drive for the homeless shelter and implemented virtue education by way of poster board presentations about prudence and justice.
 








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