Dear Friends of Seton Academy,
During the Advent season, the central activity of the Seton Academy students is always preparing for the annual scriptural nativity play. This past week, I had an opportunity to observe one of the practices to see how things were progressing. Now, with a play going into its 45th year, one might expect a lack of enthusiasm from the student performers, most of whom have participated in this play multiple times. As I listened to the children rehearse their lines, however, their clear and engaged excitement touched my heart. Here are just a few tidbits from the discussions I overheard:
Question: “Well, would it be okay if Mary picked up and cuddled Baby Jesus? Probably the people in that time didn't just leave the baby lying alone…”
Response: “Oh, definitely! And new moms and dads want to hold their baby. That's how they get connected.”
Question: “I understand gold as one of the gifts from the Magi, but what are frankincense and myrrh, and why did they give those?”
Response: “To show that He was God (the frankincense is incense, like at mass), and myrrh because He would be a sacrifice (and myrrh was for funerals, I think).”
These children dive into the nativity play with fresh eyes and renewed exuberance every year, ready to give themselves entirely to this work. They not only master their lines (taken straight from Holy Scripture), they analyze and discuss, with the goal of understanding the Story they will act out. They take time to ponder the historical, sociological, and scientific components that accompany the plot line. They make this play a living prayer with their careful, logical, and reverent attention to each detail.
The true beauty here is that our annual nativity play is only one example taken from a school year's worth of prayerful work and activity offered up daily by the students of Seton Academy. The classrooms here stimulate intellectual abilities, foster creativity, strengthen social skills, and nourish the spiritual growth of every student. Each child here uses his or her God-given talents to give Him glory, thus transforming every work and every interaction into a prayer! Even their missteps become prayerful by their repentant reactions and resolve to atone.
They live out St. Paul's call to “Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)
The blessing of a rich, Catholic Montessori educational environment provides the children with the stage on which to raise every work, every project, and every relationship to the level of prayer. And we owe the existence of this environment to the generosity of Seton's benefactors, people like you, who see the priceless value of fostering this prayerful approach to life from the earliest years. As the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI observed, “A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints” (Address to pupils, September 17, 2010).
Indeed, Seton Academy offers just that: a beautiful, multifaceted education that guides children on the path to holiness while simultaneously cultivating the academic, social, and creative skills they need along that path.
Please accept my invitation to partner with us in providing this environment for our students. Our students hail from faithful and reverent families who share your belief in the importance of a well-rounded, Catholic education. Still, they may also find the cost of tuition burdensome to their young family's life. Your donation will go directly to tuition assistance, enabling these wonderful families to provide strong foundations for their children. More importantly, I ask for the favor of your prayerful support of Seton Academy’s mission. Your prayers bolster our community unfailingly; we, in turn, will continue praying for you as a friend and supporter of Seton Academy.
May God bless you this Advent as we await with great anticipation the time to rejoice in the Christ Child’s birth.
Joyfully in Christ,
Anne Marie Sowinski