#Snowmageddon2016 Couldn’t Stop the March for Life

The impending blizzard couldn’t stop the March for Life, and it didn’t keep Amanda Calis and Lizbeth Bull from being a part of it. Amanda (MSS Aftercare Coordinator) and Liz (MSS Teacher Assistant) braved the elements to stand up for life because it’s more than a cause for them.

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“I’ve been going to the march for life since I was young, more than 15 years. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people and the energy and the love they have. It is a true witness of the hope we still have in this country. We are fighting for lives for both the babies and their mothers. It is encouraging to be amongst so many fighting for the truth.” Amanda

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“I think it was amazing to see thousands of people in the snow, supporting the same cause. The weather didn’t phase anyone…it was the least we could do for the lost lives of the unborn. It meant more to me this year since I am bearing a child, I just couldn’t imagine…” –Liz

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Have you ever attended the March for Life? Please share your photos and testimonies on our Facebook page!

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A Thanksgiving Dinner Prayer

At Mother Seton School, we are grateful each day for every one of you for your generous support and prayers. We have been blessed in so many ways, and our hearts are full as we celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and friends.

As we gather with our loved ones around the table this week, let us also give thanks to the Lord, from whom every good and perfect gift comes. Please enjoy this simple prayer to share at dinner this year. The graphic used is a 1914 painting by Jennie Bascombe, entitled “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth”.

Thanksgiving Day Prayer Happy Thanksgiving and May the Lord Bless You and Your Families!

Novena for Pope Francis’s Visit to the United States

Join us in a novena of prayer for the safety of our beloved Pope and for the success of his visit.

Pope-Novena

Daily Intentions

Day One: For the safety of Pope Francis as he travels.

Day Two: For the people of the United States that we may be open to our Holy Father’s message of care and concern for the poor and vulnerable among us.

Day Three: For our government, that all elected officials in the United States use their positions to promote equal opportunity, justice and quality of life for all people.

Day Four: For the United Nations, that world leaders work together to create peace and to make “land, lodging and labor” available to all.

Day Five: For the World the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, that all participants be guided by the Holy Spirit and discern ways to support families amid the challenges of our day.

Day Six: For all those in Consecrated Life, that they truly be the presence of Christ on earth; for those who pray vocations, especially members of the Serra Club; for those considering or preparing for consecrated life, especially the novices who will meet with Pope Francis.

Day Seven: For our Criminal Justice System, that we work for an end to crime by creating prisons that offer not only punishment, but an opportunity to effect real change; that prisoners and those responsible for them be treated with respect in an environment that is safe for all.

Day Eight: For an end to human trafficking in all forms and for respect for immigrants everywhere.

Day Nine: For the Church throughout the world, especially the Church in the Unites States, that all bishops, priests, religious, and the lay faithful be open and attentive to the messages of the Holy Father and to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Mother Seton School: A Community of Service

13-14 CSW_Logo_Circle_CMYKWe have noted previously that MSS is indeed a community of Faith and Knowledge. Realizing that, like parents and grandparents, our teachers are committed to helping students not only learn the basic tenets of the faith, but also put their faith into practice. The action of putting our faith in practice can be seen throughout our school through a spirit of service and dedication to helping others. Without our Faith and Knowledge about God, our community of Service would have little meaning.

The bible has many notations regarding service. The gospel passage, Mark 10:45,  says “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The primary lesson this passage is telling us is that each of us must strive to do as Jesus did: serve others.

If you look at MSS’s track record regarding service to others you would find it remarkable. The following are just a few examples of how the students help others:

  • In September there is a school-wide food drive for the Seton Center which provides services for people in need.
  • Kindergarten visits the elderly at St. Joseph’s Ministries (formerly St. Catherines Nursinc Center & the Villa at St. Michael) during the school year to show them their Halloween costumes, sing Christmas carols, and more!
  • K5PP-butter3One of the beloved examples of service at MSS is having older students partner with younger students (Prayer Partners) to pray with throughout the year, as well as work together on a variety of service activities. For example at Christmas, Grade 5 partnered with Kindergarten to create blankets for the Linus project that provides blankets to children facing surgery.
  • In another Advent Project, Grade 7 collected stocking stuffer items and made homemade cards for the children at John’s Hopkins Children Center, while 6th graders collected items for the Catoctin Pregnancy Center.
  • Putting faith into practice in the lower grades also includes making cards for people in nursing homes during the school year and collecting new items at Christmas time for families in need.VMY-hochschild-roberts-haller-EFB-PhyllisKelly-clever-Cropped
  • Vincentian Marian Youth: Seton Council (VMY) is comprised of Middle School members (Grades 6-8), who form teams of 4-5 students lead by an adult sponsor to work at service sites of their choice one or two times monthly outside of school hours.
  • Throughout the year, students in Grades 4 -8 take turns cleaning the cafeteria to prepare for the next lunch wave which includes and wiping tables, sweeping areas under the table so that it is ready for the younger students that follow them.
  • Among our in-house students services, we also have a tech crew, stage crew, chair crew, and safety patrol (who help younger students get to their buses, hold doors and so on) that are from our Middle School! Recently, we have trained 7th– and 8th-grade students as Ambassadors for special events which are coming soon.
  • All 8th-graders are required to make contact with a non-profit organization(s) to perform 5 hours of service learning by April 1, 2015.

An important part of our service learning is to also take time and help our students understand why they are called to serve and the spirit in which they should work to help one another. This is a wonderful tool for helping them to live the Golden Rule, also. These are some examples of service projects at MSS for this school year! Thinking of others, as Jesus did is a key trait that we want to develop in our children.

In conclusion to this Catholic Schools Week Theme, MSS truly is a Community of Faith, Knowledge and Service. Together as a school of wonderful teachers and staff working with parents and grandparents we will continue to foster these lessons into our children’s character!

Mother Seton School: A Community of Faith

praying-girls-massWe all know that Faith does not just happen. Somehow, usually in our childhood, our parents or perhaps our grandparents spoke to us often about God. They were wonderful role models for us and made sure we got to church as a family. If we were lucky, we went to a Catholic or Christian school where the teachings of Jesus Christ were incorporated into our daily lessons. We learned eventually that Faith was believing without seeing! We trusted, as we do today, that God knows all things and is with us every step of the way.

At Mother Seton School, we offer a Faith-filled environment for our students through our Catholic teachings and modeling what it means to be a Christian. From the early beginnings, Mother Seton taught children about the faith. Her example of her devotion to God will never go unnoticed! The fact that Mother Seton is the first American-born Saint and started the first Catholic free school for girls, St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School, here in Emmitsburg makes us ever more aware that our primary purpose is to carry on the teaching of the Faith to our children as she did. All of us who work at Mother Seton School partner with you, the parents and grandparents, in instilling a foundation of faith that will last a lifetime for our children.

In Vatican City, November 14, 2014, Pope Francis talked about our Faith as not mere words that we say but the example we give. Journalist Ann Schneible writes:

“Addressing the children who filled the chapel at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis said that – in an age dominated by images and cellphones – the faithful must rely on example, rather than words, to transmit the faith to young ones. As he looked out onto the young congregation comprised predominantly of children from a Roman parish, Pope Francis said it was as though he was looking at ‘a promise,’ and at ‘the world that will be.’ With this in mind, he asked: ‘what do we leave’ these children, who are our future. He then asked if the children are taught ‘to walk in love and in truth,’ or if we merely ‘teach them with words, while our lives take another direction?’ ‘It is our responsibility to look out for children!’ the Pope said, stressing that these ‘little plants’ cannot be ignored.”

gifts-mass“We all have a responsibility to give the best that we have “to children, and the best that we have is the faith,” the Pope said. However, this transformation of faith must be accompanied by example.

There is no question that teaching and giving example regarding our Faith is key in the formation of our children at Mother Seton School. We are fortunate that we can have activities that promote our Faith through daily morning prayer, religion classes, school Masses, promoting service projects to help others, living the Golden Rule (Luke 6:27),  and so on. All of this assists in creating a Christ-centered atmosphere, which is what our school is all about.

As noted in our Parent/Student Handbook, Mother Seton School affirms the truth that the goal of all Catholic education is salvation in Jesus Christ. Faculty and staff strive to clearly and fully transmit the message of the Gospel as reflected in the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

We all know that Faith does not just happen. Together we can continue to build on the gift of our legacy and live the core beliefs of our mission. Truly, the greatest gift we have as the New Year begins is our Faith.

October 7th: Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Oct7th-titlepicIn Catholic culture, October has historically been dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Rosary has been one of our most cherished devotions for centuries, and is an integral part of prayer life. So important is the Rosary that St. Pope Pius V attributes the 16th-Century Christian victory over Muslim forces to the intercession of the Blessed Mother, who was invoked by the faithful in Europe through meditation on the Holy Rosary. He declared October 7th to be Feast Day of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, and nearly five hundred years later it is still celebrated.

One of the many positives about being a Catholic School is that our students are taught the Rosary at an early age. In fact, during the May Procession, the school as a whole recites the Rosary together. It is a unifying force; imagine the power of millions of people all over the world praying the Mysteries of the Rosary together!

St. Pope John Paul II had a particular affinity for the Holy Rosary. In declaring October 2002-October 2003 the Year of the Rosary, he wrote:

“To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ…With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer…But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery…”

Archbishop Fulton Sheen testified to the importance of the Rosary as a part of our daily life, not to be relegated to nostaliga or mere tradition:

“The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.”

On this feast day, we encourage you to gather with your family to contemplate the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Here are a few resources to help you along:

How to Pray the Rosary

Printable Rosary Prayer Sheets

Make Your Own Rosary

Mysteries of the Rosary Coloring Pages

6 Reasons for Teaching Children the Rosary

Angel of God, My Guardian Dear

October is filled with many notable Feast Days. Today, October 2nd, is just such one. It is the Feast of the Guardian Angels.

Many of us learned this prayer when we were just babes, and our children probably recite it at bedtime. It’s a great little prayer to help ease your child’s anxiety over fear of the dark or storms, or bad dreams.guardian-angel-prayer

It’s also an important reminder of God’s love and how He sends his protectors to watch over us, to guide and nurture us. How many times have we come close to tragedy, only to inexplicably escape from harm? How often have we felt a word of caution advising us to “do this” or “don’t do that”? That’s our guardian angels watching over us. Pope Francis reminds us,

“How is my relationship with my guardian angel? Do I listen to him? Do I say good morning to him? Do I ask him to watch over me when I sleep? No one journeys alone and no one should think that they are alone.”

If it’s been a while since you’ve spoken with your Guardian Angel, today is the perfect day to say hello and thank you.

For ideas on how to celebrate this day, see Lacy’s post at Catholic Icing: 10 Ways to Celebrate