Faith Day 2019

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.

A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.

A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;

For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.

Sirach 6:14-17

The first reading at Mass set the theme for OLMC’s 2019 Faith Day.  As the students met with their Faith Families, this message of friendship and its many facets and riches was discussed, experienced and reinforced. From Fr. John David’s homily about his personal experiences with friendship all through activities led by the catechists and 8th graders, the theme of friendship with each other and with Jesus was woven throughout the day.

After children attended Mass with their regular class, and after they had a snack and a little break, they met in the gym and joined their Faith Families.  On this Faith Day the students were surprised to find themselves in the studio audience for Sr. Mary Josephine’s exciting radio show, 1954 AM The Mount.  And Moses and Aaron even made a guest appearance!  Moses and Aaron talked about their lives and all the fantastic things they experienced, but most importantly they talked about their relationship and friendship with each other and their relationship with God.  Through this interview, the reading from Sirach was reinforced and presented in an engaging and memorable way.

Before students left the All School Assembly and broke into their individual Family groups they were reminded of three important things:

1) Friendship with God brings us true happiness

2) Our hearts are restless until they rest in God

3) A firm friendship with God is the strong foundation for friendship with others

While spending time with their individual families (with a mix of students from PreK – 8) students played focused games and activities, again reinforcing the message of friendship: with each other, with strangers, and above all with God, who guides all relationships.

As the faith families participated in their rotations, students spent time in reverent Adoration and had the opportunity to go to confession.  We were blessed to have no less than six priests from throughout the Peninsula were on hand in rotation throughout the day to take confession.

One of the day’s most tangible and memorable activities was the creation of friendship bracelets.  This all school activity was capably led by OLMC’s 8th grade students.  This actively illustrated Our Lady of Mount Carmel school’s pillar of service as each student created a friendship bracelet for themselves and an identical one for a person being blessed by the OLMC Outreach Center.  When someone comes into the Outreach Center for a need they will be given one of these bracelets and they have the opportunity to leave a prayer request in return.  This prayer intention will then be returned to the school and the particular student who made the bracelet will pray that God blesses the recipient in his or her life as he or she wears a bracelet as a reminder to pray for their person in need.

The day ended joyously with praise, worship and even dancing led by Peninsula Catholic’s High School Ministry.  Peninsula Catholic’s praise and worship team was on hand all day, playing music at Mass and throughout Adoration.  They added a beautiful element to the day’s event and were appreciated and enjoyed immensely by both OLMC students and staff.

The Lord blessed this beautiful day.  The good feelings of friendship fostered were palpable.  Thank you to all of our students, catechists, staff, parents, family and friends that made this day possible and tirelessly help make Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School a place that truly fosters faith, family, and friendship.

 

 

A Family of Faith

4 Ways This Year’s Faith Day Impacted Our School

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School is often regarded as a family-like community. Our faculty and staff strive to teach mutual respect to our students, and we maintain a strong focus on service to those in need. Faith Day, held every year at our school, is a culminating day of prayer, service, community and study that impacts all our faculty and staff in an extraordinary way.

The students broke into small groups called “faith families” which consisted of students from all the different grade levels and one or two faculty/staff members. They spent the day with their family, participating in activities, prayer, and service projects together.

This year, there were four major ways that Faith Day impacted our school:

  1. Magnanimity

Three cups of dramatically different sizes were placed in front of our students. Each one was filled to the brim with water. The students were then asked, “Which one is more full?”

As we practice virtue, our hearts can expand both to love to a greater capacity and to receive the love of God to a greater capacity.

Debates broke out between students as they tried to figure out the answer to the question. Finally, the adult leaders explained that all the cups were equally full, but some contained more water than the others. This was an image of magnanimity. As we practice virtue, our hearts can expand both to love to a greater capacity and to receive the love of God to a greater capacity.
Each faith family then drew pictures and wrote examples of deeds we can do to have a magnanimous heart on large pieces of paper cut in the shape of a heart. All the hearts were hung throughout the school as a reminder for us to become magnanimous.

  1. Dominican Friars

Two Dominican Friars visited the school from Washington, D.C. and spent the day with our students. They heard confessions (with the help of our pastor, Fr. John David) and visited with the students throughout the day.

Our students also had the opportunity to gather in the gym and ask the Dominican Friars any questions they wanted. Our students were able to ask three questions of the friars, and then the friars would ask the students a question. One question a friar asked was, “Does anyone know why we wear the rosary on our side, attached to our belts?” After a few incorrect answers, they explained, “Because this is where soldiers wear their swords. We are soldiers for Christ, and the rosary is our greatest weapon against Satan.”

The friars were asked which one was better at basketball, so, to the delight of our students, and in true Dominican fashion, they pursued the truth and had a shoot-out to figure out who was best!

  1. The Eucharist

As the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, so it was the source and summit of our Faith Day. The day started with the Mass, and then all the students gathered together for praise, worship, and adoration. The gymnasium was turned into an adoration chapel for the day, where students could visit to spend time with our Lord in prayer.

Near the end of the day, the friars led a procession through the gym, bringing our Eucharistic Lord within inches of each student. Calling to mind the story from the Bible of the woman who reached out and touched the cloak of Jesus and was healed, many of our students reached out and touched the vestments of the friar as he passed by with Jesus. The grace and mercy of the Holy Spirit overflowed through our gym as our students came face to face with our loving creator.

  1. Charity to Others

After encountering our Lord in the Eucharist and through reconciliation, our students learned that the natural reaction to receiving so much from our Lord should be to in turn share with others.

Within their respective faith families, the students drew pictures and wrote Bible verses on bottles of water and canned goods. They were informed that families who were in great financial need would receive the food and water, and that many times these families benefit from receiving encouragement with the gift. After decorating the cans and bottles, they were given to our Outreach Office to be distributed to the poor in our community.

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The Faith Day this year proved to be rejuvenating and spiritually uplifting for the entire school. All four of our pillars, (prayer, study, community and service) converged into one day that brought our school closer to Jesus Christ and deeper in our understanding of what it means to be a community in pursuit of truth, beauty and goodness.

Stations of the Cross

Join Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in praying the Stations of the Cross with this interactive, prayer slideshow. Every Friday afternoon during Lent, our students walked over to our parish and prayed the Stations of the Cross together. Now you can join our students in prayer at any time! Please join us, especially on Good Friday, to pray the Stations of the Cross with us. Adobe Spark Page Know that our students pray for you. Will you pray for us?

Catholic Schools Week 2018

In 1994, American dioceses began the annual observance of National Catholic Schools Week to celebrate the blessings of Catholic education in the United States. The 2018 events will be celebrated Jan. 28 – Feb. 3. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School will join the annual celebration week with Mass, an open house, an appreciation lunch, and great activities for our students, families, parishioners and community members.

Through these events, we will focus on the value Catholic education provides to our youth and its contributions to our church, communities and nation.  We’ve listed our plans here; please join us if you can!

Monday Faith Day Students wear Faith Day t-shirts

Faith, Family and Fellowship activities

Tuesday Spirit Day Students wear Spirit Day clothing

Students may bring/wear 100 items to celebrate the 100th day of school

Wednesday Student Appreciation Day Students dress in out-of-uniform clothing

No homework day

PCHS vs. OLMC Boys’ Basketball Game

OLMC Faculty vs. Girls’ Basketball Game

Thursday Teacher Appreciation Day Teachers will receive lunch provided by school parents
Friday Dominican Day Celebration Mass at 8:15 a.m.

Students may dress in church-appropriate black and white clothing

All week:  Canned food drive, donations provided to local food pantry

OLMC Saints Alive!

When November 1 dawns at OLMC School each year, our halls come alive with saints as our fourth-grade students dress in costumes representing their favorite holy heroes.

Each year, fourth-grade teachers Mrs. Karen Domzal and Ms. Belinda Scholl provide their students with computer time for research assignments to learn more about our Church Triumphant. Each child chooses a saint to read about and report on. The lives of such saints as Therese, Maximilian Kolbe, Pope John Paul II, St. Patrick, Teresa of Calcutta and many more are explored. According to Mrs. Domzal, “What better way to learn how to be a saint than to learn from the saints themselves? This is the students’ opportunity to learn that saints are just like us. They all had their struggles and trials.”

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