Pope Francis Comments on Educational Mission of Families and Schools in Wednesday Audience

On May 20, Pope Francis recalled an important memory from his childhood education, “I remember a personal anecdote. Once when I was in the fourth year of elementary school I said a bad word to the teacher and the teacher, a good woman, had my mother called. She came the next day, they spoke together and then I was called. And, in front of the teacher, my mother explained to me that what I had done was a bad thing, which I must not do, but my mother did so with such gentleness and she asked me in front of her to ask the teacher for forgiveness. I did so and then I was happy because I said: the story ended well. However, that was the first chapter! When I returned home, the second chapter began … Imagine if today the teacher does something of the sort, the next day the two parents or one of the two reprimands her, because the “experts” say that children must not be reprimanded like that. Things have changed! For this reason parents must not exclude themselves from the education of their children.”

That is just one of many profoundly true comments made by Pope Francis. The entire audience is certainly worth a read.

“The Christian communities are called to offer support to the educational mission of families, and they do so first of all with the light of the Word of God. The Apostle Paul reminds us of the reciprocity of duties between parents and children: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” (Colossians 3:20-21). At the base of everything is love, what God gives us, “it is not arrogant or rude, does not insist on its own way, is not irritable or resentful, … bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:5-6). Even in the best families it is necessary to endure one another, and so much patience is needed to endure one another! But life is like this. Life is not made in a laboratory, it is made in reality. Jesus himself went through family education. In this case also, the grace of the life of Christ leads to fulfillment what is inscribed in human nature. How many wonderful examples we have of Christian parents full of human wisdom! They show that a good family education is the spinal cord of humanism. Their social radiation is the resource that makes it possible to compensate for the lacunae, the wounds, the voids of paternity and maternity that touch less fortunate children. This radiation can do genuine miracles. And these miracles happen every day in the Church.”

Students Rise to the Occasion with Sensational Science Fair

Students, teacher, and parents were hard at work last week adding final touches to science projects. Students began research weeks ago, and the products produced proved to be both highly informative and creative.

For the past four years, the school has organized an academic fair. Recent subjects included a writing workshop, and during the Year of Faith, students created faith-based projects. The faculty thought it would be good to return to a good ole’ science fair for 2015. Judges were recruited, and although their task was quite challenging, the overall objective was surely attained: students either explored a scientific subject or utilized the scientific method to learn a new truth about God’s creation. Each student either contributed to a classroom project or created a very comprehensive individual project. Students allowed their  interests to drive their research, which led to interesting and practical discoveries.

For their part, the judges were tasked with observing and interacting with students across all grade levels (PreK-12). The Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten each created a classroom project, with individual students adding their own imprint on the group display. During the fair, the judges asked questions and students answered intelligently and well.

1st, 2nd, and then 4th – 10th grade completed either individual or team projects.

It was a truly unique but illustrative event, largely because observers were able to view students from age 3 to high school perform academically. We are very grateful for the efforts and sacrifice of our esteemed judges, Mr. Jack McCarthy, Mr. and Mrs. Morris, Mrs. and Mrs. Stout, and Dr. Mary Bellino.

Alas, below are the top three individual performers from each classroom, plus an honorable mention for either individual students or classrooms.

1st grade: Students created a diorama based on a story taken from the Imagine It! reading program titled, The Cactus Motel. Students were required to give an oral presentation that included specific details from the story.  They talked about desert animals, cactuses, and spoke about details that made a cactus a cactus hotel.

  • Audrey Wenger
  • Caitlin Richardson
  • Blaise McMenaman

2nd grade

  • Nora Walsh: Welsh Mountain Pony
  • Marianne Dowsett: Yellow-Spotted Salamander
  • Adalynn Beturne: Orca

4th grade

  • Anya Moorehouse: Making Maple Candy: How Does Temperature Effect It?
  • Susan Kanu: The Effect of Temperature on Crystal Formation
  • Lyndsey Patten: Making an Acid Indicator with Red Cabbage

5/6th grade

  • Maryl Rees: Estuaries
  • Luke Bartlett: Converting sound energy
  • James Thibault: Converting electrical to sound energy
  • Brenden Moorehouse: Salt-iodine
  • Caleb North: Sensory objects and reducing stress
  • Jesse McDonnell: Impact of technology on learning

7th grade:

  • Morgan Blackinton: “Do mints cool down hot water?”
  • Curtis North: “Got pain?”
  • Andrew Normandin: Aluminum v. wood baseball bats

Individual Student Honorable Mention:

  • Mary-Grace Klucinec: “What can make the most ice melt?”
  • Hannah Fraioli: Electrolytes and sugar in energy drinks
  • Alex Kalpakgian and Leo Souliotis: Scientific development of weapon
  • John Paul-Martin: Cardio-vascular system
  • Rosie Treece: DNA extract
  • Classroom Honorable Mention
    • 3rd grade: International space station
    • Kindergarten: Light and color
    • Pre-Kindergarten: How do plants grow?
    • Junior High Engineering: Magnetic-levitated powered vehicles
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Message from the Headmaster: Mary and the Missionary Role of MRA

Dear Families,

Next week marks the completion of our year-long 20th anniversary celebration. As is customary, our school will honor the Blessed Virgin Mary with a May Crowning. This year, we are blessed to welcome Bishop Peter Libasci to campus. He will preside over the Mass, join us as we process with Mary, and then each student will offer a flower to Mary. The entire school will say a prayer of consecration to Our Lady, and then we will conclude the ceremony by recognizing the generosity of the school’s greatest benefactors.

The school has grown substantially in 20 years, and all of its successes can be attributed to the intercession of the Queen of Heaven. Her intercession opens the hearts of benefactors, teachers, parents, and students, prompting us to carry out the will of Her Son through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

There is a charism to our school community that transcends individuals and unites us as a community of persons. I firmly believe that the success of our mission depends on our ability to become missionaries. The bonds that unite our school community are nothing but the grace of Jesus. And even though we all struggle with the negative influences of an ever growing secular culture, we can turn back the tide.

Education is the most powerful solution to the secularization of the culture. It is also the greatest gift we can give to our children.

All parents are invited to attend the May Crowning. The Mass is at 9:00am, and the entire program will last until approximately 10:30am.

Yours Truly In Christ,

Derek Tremblay

20th Anniversary Celebration to Culminate with May Crowning

Mount Royal Academy is pleased to announce that Bishop Peter Libasci will celebrate Mass at the school’s May Crowning Celebration on Friday, May 22. The Mass, which is open to the public, will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the St. Joseph’s Center on Mount Royal’s campus.

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There is a longstanding tradition in the Catholic Church to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary this month with a May crowning. In this beautiful ceremony the students are joined by those in attendance in a procession to place flowers at the foot of the statue of Mary. Prayers of thanks and continued guidance are offered along with the flowers. At the conclusion of the procession, the entire school community reconsecrates it mission to the Mother of God, entrusting the mission of the school to the intercession of its beloved and venerable instrument of grace. This ceremony will also include a special recognition of key benefactors.

“We are blessed to have Bishop Lisbaci preside over this celebration for us,” said Mr. Derek Tremblay, Headmaster. “Events like these are so important to our school community, as they renew our focus, and support our mission of educating the whole person. The blossoming of our school can be attributed in large part to both Mary, and also the instruments she invites to carry out the will of her son, Jesus. The support of Bishop Peter coupled with the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Broom have made a profound impact on our school, and we cannot think of a better way to complete our 20th anniversary. ”

The May Crowning is one of the school’s oldest traditions, so it is fitting that the school will also conclude its year-long 20th Anniversary celebration following the ceremony. The school first opened its doors in September 1994. Mount Royal Academy’s enrollment is now over 200, which is the largest in the school’s history.

Catholic Musician and Evangelist to Perform at MRA

We are pleased to announce that on May 18th at 9:30am, Mount Royal Academy will host a special performance by Catholic recording artist LuLuke Ske Spehar. Luke is currently on tour promoting his recently released third album, All is Gift, which was co-produced by Grammy Award winning artist Ben Harper. He was kind enough to reach out to Mount Royal and offer his gifts to our students. Luke’s ministry involves playing his music and sharing stories about his walk with God. You can learn more about him and sample his music at www.lukespehar.com. Parents are invited to attend.

“We all need to be inspired from time to time, especially in our spiritual journeys. Luke Spehar is using music in a powerful way to inspire the people of our times,” Matthew Kelly, founder of Dynamic Catholic.

3rd Quarter Honor Roll Released

Mount Royal Academy 3rd Quarter Honor Roll 2014-2015

Grade 1

Headmaster’s List: Taylor Goodspeed, Caitlin Richardson, Bella Wallace, Audrey Wenger

Honors: Clare Castor, Clayton Griffin, Blaise McMenaman

Grade 2

Headmaster’s List: Kaitlyn Costello, Luke Moorehouse

High Honors:   Evan Barns, Peyton Blackinton, Nora Walsh

Honors: Adalynn Beturne, Amelia Caravan, Brenden Davis, Marianne Dowsett, Roxana Hudkins, Claire Jackson, Hannah Martin, William Spanos, Liam Treece

Grade 3

Headmaster’s List: Catherine Bellino, Sean Beturne, Lauren Dustin, Paul Thibault, Brennan Walsh

High Honors: Gabrielle Simione

Honors: James Akerman, Kyleigh Baker, Isabelle Correa, Sarah Cunningham, Spencer Cunningham, Nathan Kenyon, Terese Klucinec, Padraig Mooney, Gabriel Ouellette, Felix Prieto, Abigail Sweet

Grade 4

Headmaster’s List: Victoria Kenyon, Maryrose McLaughlin, Anya Moorehouse

High Honors: Nonah Dowsett, Lyndsey Patten

Honors: Susan Kanu, John-Paul Martin, Julia Stout, John Paul Treece, Gabriella Stocker

Grade 5

Headmaster’s List: Caleb North, Olivia Simione

High Honors: Liam Ouellette, James Thibault

Honors: Anne Klucinec, Augustine Prieto, Maryl Rees     

Grade 6

Headmaster’s List: Brendan Moorehouse, Emma Treece

High Honors: Marius Edwards

Grade 7

Headmaster’s List: Kateri Kalpakgian, Andrew Normandin, John Thibault

High Honors: Mary Grace Klucinec, Gavyn Magistro, Aidan Moorehouse, Tristan Ouellette, Nicole Petrescu-Boboc, Antigoni Souliotis

Honors: Amy Alterisio, Morgan Blackinton, Luke Bocko, Josephine Brigham, Madison Hemingway, John Klucinec, Claudia Simione

Grade 8

Headmaster’s List:  Erin Diebold

High Honors:  Jacinta Hogan, Rette Solomon

Honors: Teresa Bellino, Hannah Fraioli, Alicja Nadolecka

Grade 9

Headmaster’s List:  Alexander Kalpakgian

High Honors: Kolbe Bocko, Peter Thibault, Aila Wenger

Honors: Joshua Griffin, Isabella Kenyon, Alexander Normandin

Grade 10

Headmaster’s List: Johanna Fitzgibbons, Cooper McCrillis, Naomi Nelson

High Honors: Bernadette Klucinec

Honors: Hannah Everitt, Faith Lamontagne, Matthew McMenaman, Callan Rees

Grade 11

Headmaster’s List: Rebekah Thibault

High Honors: Matthew Caveney, Adrianna Kenyon, Maria Klucinec

Honors: Cheyenne Bentley, Miriam Caveney, Anna Dahlberg

Grade 12

Headmaster’s List: Daniel Fitzgibbons, Malachi Nelson, Andrew Thibault

Honors: Marcus Josephs, Abigail McMenaman, Vivian Mok, Malachi Swenson

May 1st, Mission, and Vocation

May 1st is rapidly approaching for the class of 2015. It is the date that marks the next stage in their educational career. More importantly, it is also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on vocation and mission.

St. John Henry Newman, a famous promoter of the university, appropriately frames the significance of May 1st:

God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away.

Educational experts, political pundits, and the culture at large claim that without a college education, no individual can succeed. All parents and children feel the pressure to go to a legitimate, competitive, and prestigious college. The conversation extends to families, business leaders, economists, politicians, and guidance counselors. It is slowly but surely morphing into a debate, for it was once held that no child will ever be able to achieve financial independence unless he or she received a bachelor’s degree. Is this a worthy debate? What does the evidence suggest? Surely, we should refer to the data, right?

New Hampshire ranks #1 in average student loan debt ($32,795), according to the Institute for College Access and Success. In 2014, the Consumer Credit Panel released the total amount of student loan debt in America, a whopping $1.08 trillion. What is the pattern? In 2005, the average total of individual student loan debt was $17,233. By 2012 the average U.S. student loan debt climbed to $27,253–a 58% increase in just seven years, according to FICO.

If students are accumulating more debt, are they at least landing jobs to pay off their loans? This is where the pressure really affects parents and students. Although only 8% of 24-30 year olds with a college degree are unemployed, it is startling to consider how many are under-employed. The Center for College Affordability and Productivity reported that 48% of college graduates are currently employed in a position that does not require a college degree. 

Is it worth the investment?

By and large, the wrong question is being posed. Instead of asking, “Which college should I attend?”, high school seniors ought to be pondering, “What is my vocation? How can I maximize my gifts to become the best version of myself?” “What good have I been called to do in order to make a mark on this world and serve others?”

The purpose of high school is to keep as many doors open as possible. High school students struggle to balance their social life, academics, and family life. The students who apply themselves gain a competitive edge, but not the type of edge that the culture embraces. Instead, students learn the value of their own dignity, and the limitless potential of their good efforts. What advantage can be gained from learning one’s own value?

There are only 7 seniors in the class of 2015 at MRA. Not all of them intend to enroll in a four year college. And yet, they have accumulated just over 1.5 million dollars in scholarships. The temptation is to say, “good job”, you have made more money in your high school career than you even knew at the time.

Even though seniors are committing to amazing institutions in the coming days, we can never lose sight of the big picture. The value of our efforts is not determined by any type of monetary figure or employment status.

As John Newman stated, the greatness of May 1st is derived from the fact that each person has a purpose that extends into eternity. We may get to heaven in different ways, but our efforts will never be discarded.


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