St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a school community on September 25 to celebrate Vocations Mass. The presider was Father Paul Counce, pastor of St. Joseph Cathedral and uncle of junior Katherine Counce.
Junior Mary Claire Saia welcomed the large gathering. “Each one of us has a vocation, a special call by God, to transform the world through service,” she said. “Each of us is called in a very special way to serve God as priests or sisters, husbands and wives, teachers and coaches and sons and daughters of God. We join together in our willingness and openness to answer God’s call in each of our lives.”
Senior Delia Chiasson read from the book of the prophet Jeremiah. Freshman Ellen Livingston and junior Kylie Rangeley-Allement offered the prayers of the faithful.
Aimee Cronan directed the Liturgy Choir. Senior Hallie Legendre was the cantor. Featured vocalists were junior Jordan Mathis and sophomore Jules Culotta. Musical accompanists were Steve Galliano, piano; Stephen Barrios, percussion; and Hugo Andricain, guitar.
Following mass, Theology Department Chairwoman Jennifer Prather spoke of examples of people who have harmed those they were responsible for protecting, including leaders within the Church. “We look for justice; we look to bring an end to abuse of all people and in all forms,” she said. “There is no defending the abuse of vulnerable people. The anger and pain we feel when we hear these stories are real and valid. Yet, our God does not call us to remain in anger and pain but rather calls us to a spirit of healing and ultimately reconciliation.”
Prather said we heal and move toward our calling by the way we choose to live our vocation. “The role of the laity is increasingly important in times like these, in the face of hurt and sin,” she said. “… As we consider our vocation to build God’s kingdom in the nooks and crannies of this world, we pray for those suffering in our Church and our world. We pray for our leaders, for victims of scandal and for a rekindling in the laity of a deep responsibility to truth and justice.”
Principal Stacia Andricain recognized those seniors who have excelled in their current vocation as students. She called forth SJA’s seven National Merit semifinalists for 2019: Abby Blaize, Anna Borne, Rachael Coates, Amelia Dittmar, Anna LeJeune, Maryn Matthews and Grace Richardson. She also recognized SJA’s four National Merit commended students: Ella Barhorst, Sydney Clebert, Raeann Didier and Anna Myers.
Senior Grace Fetzer led the singing of the alma mater.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine