VillaVoice_Summer_2020 FINAL - Page 12

HIGHLIGHTS & HAPPENINGS Faith St. Ursula Villa Displays Commitment to Christian Service in the Classroom and at a Distance The Christ-centered spirit of St. Angela Merici was displayed by our Villa community throughout the year with students and families demonstrating their commitment to helping others through service and prayer. Many of activities took place on campus and in the community and then later through video and social media. Villa Families sort through donations at Matthew 25 Ministries. On February 29th, the Ursuline Identity Committee brought Villa families together for a day of service to the community. The Ursuline Identity Committee initiates efforts to integrate the Ursuline Mission into the daily life of the school. It is made up of an Ursuline Sister, Board of Trustees representatives, the principal, a faculty representative from each level, the Campus Minister, and Villa parents. Although this school year brought unexpected changes and challenges, service to others and devotion through prayer remain an important part of St. Ursula Villa’s commitment to Christian service. Amy Stout, Villa parent volunteer and member of the Ursuline Identity Committee, organized the event. She stated, “It was important to select a service project that included families because we wanted a hands-on volunteer experience to facilitate our mission of serving others and giving back to the community.” The committee selected Matthew 25 Ministries, a Cincinnati-based international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization, because it welcomed large groups and had no age requirement. This was important because the committee wanted as many students and family members as possible to join in this effort. The Villa community responded very enthusiastically and filled 100 volunteer slots in just a few days. The committee received positive feedback from the volunteers who appreciated the opportunity to come together to build a strong family spirit within the school while helping those in need, and hopes to make a family service day an annual tradition at the Villa. Along with the family service day, bringing together our community of faith was evident throughout the year. At the direction of the Ursuline Identity Committee, Campus Minister Laura Riehle planned weekly prayer services during Advent and Lent for parents and grandparents to come together in the Manor House Chapel to pray for the needs of our Villa community. During Advent, morning prayer focused on reflective music, psalms, readings, and quiet prayer. During Lent, the focus was on the church’s Liturgy of the Hours, a collection of prayers based on the psalms. In addition, those who attended the Lenten prayer group prayed for the students’ intentions as noted in their religion class prayer journal. Unfortunately, the Lenten prayer services were cut short because of the school’s closure. We look forward offering these special prayer opportunities to our Villa community during the 2020-21 school year. While students were distance learning, the Junior High Religion class was assigned an “at-home” community service project to raise the spirits of our Villa community and fill the void felt by many from missing Mass or other worship 11