Thursday, September 12, 2013
Teresa Martinez - Belen Jesuit Preparatory School
Archbishop Thomas Wenski celebrated the first school-wide Mass of the year at Belen Jesuit Sept. 11.
"We presented at the altar this 2013-2014 academic year filled with dreams, goals, and ideals in our pursuit to conquer challenging academic endeavors," said Mara Cristina Reyes-Garca, Ph.D., school principal. "We thank God for all his blessings and opportunities to thrive as we continue on the path of building a community of disciples. We pray for the victims of 9/11 and for justice and peace to prevail during these difficult times."
Following the solemn Mass, the archbishop blessed and unveiled a new statue of St. Ignatius Loyola the Teacher located at the entrance of the school.
"The Mass of the Holy Spirit is Belen Jesuit's tradition for kicking off the academic year and is core to the Jesuit, Ignatian values from which the school was established," said Jesuit Father Pedro Suarez, school president. "This annual Mass is held at the beginning of the year to welcome the grace of a greater being into our hearts and community as we journey through the experiences of the new academic year."
He added, "We are honored that Archbishop Wenski has shared this important time with our students and faculty."
The statue of St. Ignatius was donated by the Zaldivar family whose son, Miguel Zaldivar, is currently a senior at the school. The statue was bronzed by local sculptor Lazaro Valdez.
"The statue is strategically located at the entrance of the school in order to inspire and motivate the students and educators in the Jesuit philosophy of education and social justice," said Father Suarez. "Everyone that walks through those gates will now be greeted by the founder of the Jesuits who believed that through education we can make the world a better place for the greater glory of God. This gift will be an inspiration for the entire Belen community and we are grateful to this family for their generosity."