MESSAGE FROM THE CHAPLAIN
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.
We are grateful to God for the blessed opportunity to serve His youth through the ministry of St. Mary’s Christian Academy & Preschool. The establishment of a private Orthodox educational institution is one of the greatest and most critical ministries for our youth in 21st century America. Now more than ever, our children – the leaders of tomorrow – are facing powerful obstacles in their fight to live a holy life while studying their academics and athletics.
Day after day we observe and hear on the news, as well as from our own youth, the terrible and powerful impact that societal pressures are having on our Christian community. Whether it is substance abuse, sexual immorality, gun violence, or simply poor and inadequate academic instruction, our youth struggle to preserve their Orthodox faith and values while finding security and success in the culture around them.
With the establishment of this private institution for infants in daycare through young adults in their college-prepatory years, the Church is able to accomplish three objectives:
Firstly, we are able to ensure that the academic training that our youth receive meets their growing cognitive abilities and talents, and challenges them to think and perform at high standards. The Holy Bible speaks of Daniel and his companions saying:
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. Dan.1:20
The second objective of St. Mary’s Christian Academy and Preschool is to enrich our students with a deep and intimate knowledge of Scripture and the Tradition of the Apostolic Church, that they may cherish and be led by the Word of God all their lives. As the Lord instructed the Israelites:
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deut. 6:6-9
The third and final objective of this institution is to provide a learning environment that forms each student in the image and likeness of Christ, that they may become a light to the world. St. Paul exhorts the Church in Rome saying:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you may present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Rom. 12:1-2.
As the future leaders of tomorrow’s world, the heavy burden falls on our young men and women of the Church to live out their Christian calling, to be Christ’s hands and feet, eyes and mouth, to bring healing and peace to a world that is suffering without love. We are grateful to God for this momentous opportunity to minister to His children through St. Mary’s Christian Academy and Preschool. We continue to ask for St. Mary’s intercessions, as well as your prayers and support, so that our Lord may be glorified in all our children, fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah:
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides me. I am the Lord and there is no other… Is. 45:6
Blessed Feast of the Assumption of the Body of the Virgin Mary.
Fr. Michael M. Hanna, A.B., J.D., M.T.S.
August 22, 2019