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This week at Ash Wednesday mass, Father Mike likened the season of Lent to a magnifying mirror. If we choose to do so, we can use Lent as a time to slow down and focus on three ancient and holy practices: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. During Lent, these three pillars come together to form a strong spiritual mirror that helps us to see our lives more honestly and love each other in the way that Jesus teaches us to love.

Simply stated, by consuming less and praying more, we have more to share with others.

As we embark on our Lenten journey together, may we be inspired by the prayerful paths our students and teachers have walked in the days and weeks leading up to Lent. Below we have highlighted just a few of the events that have taken place in our school and church community.

Diocesan Youth Conference & College Campus Ministry Summit

The theme of this year’s Conference and Summit was, “From the Rising of the Sun to its Setting” a metaphor for God’s constant presence in our busy lives. As seen in the photos below, may Saint Mary’s students and alumni were present at the concurrent events. You can read more about their activities in a feature article in this week’s edition of The Catholic Virginian.

Faculty Faith Formation, Part I

Last Thursday afternoon, as students departed for an early release, our teachers gathered to share an afternoon of prayer and reflection with Father Mike. In addition to group activities, teachers were paired with prayer partners for more in-depth discussions. We were blessed with beautiful weather which also allowed for some outdoor time together.

Although last week was the first of a two-part formation, it wasn’t the first Faith journey offered this school year. Many teachers also participated in a 33-day Consecration to Mary prayer journey last fall.

Faculty Faith Formation, Part II

During this year of Eucharistic Revival, the bishops of the United States have asked all parish communities to undertake a variety of efforts to renew and deepen our experience of the Presence of Christ in the gift of the Eucharist.

Next month on March 9th, our teachers will join an audience of parish leaders, clergy, educators and staff members from across the Diocese to learn from guest speaker, Father Paul Shelton, who will share a spiritual and theological message designed to energize us during this Eucharistic Revival.

Fr. Paul Shelton, S.J., is one of 50 priests from around the United States who has been chosen by the USCCB to be an official Eucharistic Preacher during the National Eucharistic Revival. Fr. Shelton is the provincial assistant for vocations for the Midwest Jesuits.

In addition to his work in vocations, Fr. Shelton serves as the provincial delegate for World Youth Day Magis 2023 in Portugal. Before his current assignments, Fr. Shelton worked in secondary education at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland from 2015-2020. Fr. Shelton holds 3 master’s degrees (organizational behavior, theology, and philosophy) and a licentiate in sacred theology with an emphasis in moral theology from Boston College.