St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a school community on November 16 for the annual Thanksgiving Prayer Service. The morning celebration was held in the Academy Student Center.
Senior Danielle Jones welcomed the audience. “Thanksgiving is a time when we gather to show our gratitude for the many gifts we have received,” she said. “Today, we demonstrate that gratitude by sharing our gifts with one another and the world.”
Senior Amelia Dittmar read a poem she wrote entitled Gifts We Bring. Natalie Lazaroe read from
Second Chronicles. Senior Faith Woods introduced the theme of sharing our God-given gifts with the world. Senior Peyton Smith read from the Gospel according to Mark. Freshman Daniela Latil reflected on the story of George Pepperdine, who lost his vast fortune through bad investments. In his book, entitled Faith is My Future, Pepperdine wrote, “All that I have today is what I gave away.”
Latil said we are all created with a special combination of gifts, both tangible and unique. “When we share those gifts with the world, we share ourselves as the body of Christ,” she said.
As the Praise and Worship Band played several songs, students, faculty and staff brought forth donations of canned food and placed them on one of four tables set on the gymnasium floor. The food drive benefitted the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, which is facing critical shortages because of donors’ responses to recent natural disasters across the country.
White paper banners were rolled out across the gym floor, and students were invited to write on them with descriptions of their gifts and what they are willing to give in gratitude.
Senior Amber Ledoux read her original poem, Thankful for the Chaos. Senior Derquisia Spears read her original poem, The Gift.
Following the service, Campus Minister Alise Alexander announced a special event which will kick off the season of Advent. On December 5 from 3 to 4 p.m., students are invited to come together for carols, hot cocoa and a talk about the meaning of Advent.
Dean of Academics Aubrey DeJohn thanked all who brought donations of canned food. She thanked the Liturgy Committee for planning the prayer service and the new Praise and Worship Band, making its debut. The band is moderated by faculty members Hugo Andricain (guitar) and Stephen Barrios (percussion). Band members are freshman Kate Appleton, drums; senior Lexi Barbay, ukulele; senior Maddie Boudreaux, vocals; freshman Kelsey Brown, vocals; senior Monique Manual, piano; freshman Anavictoria Proano, bass; junior Rachel Sanchez, piano; and senior Aliya Trapp, vocals.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine