Preparing students for the academic rigors of college is a priority for parents when choosing a high school. But it is not the only consideration.
Teenagers excel in an environment where they are prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is vital for young people to be nurtured and encouraged to explore who God is calling them to be.
The Bishop Chatard High School mission mandates we focus a student’s day-to-day experience on the growth of the whole student. That is achieved by immersing students in faith-based experiences.
Faith in Action
On September 27, students collectively took their adoration and reverence for the Eucharist to the streets. Led by Father Jonathan Meyer and Father Doug Marcotte, the Eucharistic procession began in the school’s main gymnasium and culminated in the school’s athletic stadium. It gave those in attendance the opportunity to physically journey with Jesus.
“This morning’s Eucharistic procession couldn’t have been more beautiful, with 800+ students, faculty, staff and parents initially gathering in the main gym to hear Fr. Jonathon Meyer speak of his passion for the Eucharist and Jesus’ message of healing, friendship and love,” BCHS President Bill Sahm said. “Fr. Meyer spoke of Christ’s ministering to the large crowds that would follow Him through the streets and countryside, hoping to get a glance at His face, touch His cloak, or hear Him speak.
“And then, we were able to experience something remarkably similar. Students poured out the front doors and onto Crittenden Avenue, following Jesus in the monstrance into the stadium where we knelt to pray for our petitions and thank God for the wonderful gift of His Son.”
Executive Director of Mission Integration Libbie Steiner explained that school leaders wanted to give students an embodied experience of praying with the Eucharist.
Prior to the procession, Fr. Meyer challenged the students to do more than study Jesus — really get to know Him.
“The biggest mistake that we can make in a relationship is to presume that you know someone,” he said in his talk to students. “Don’t put God in a box. Our God is radically, totally available to you 24/7. He is always present through the blessed sacrament.” Father Meyer encouraged students to spend time in prayer and conversation with God.
Following Fr. Meyer’s talk, each student was given a card and asked to write the names of three people that they would like the community to pray for and Jesus to bless. Students also included on the card what grace or gift they need in their lives, things like healing, strength, love, help in a relationship, people to treat them with dignity, or something else.
Students brought with them on the procession the names of those they asked Jesus to bless along the way. The cards were put in a basket at the end of the ceremony as a visual reminder of the prayers being offered.
Bishop Chatard’s annual Living Rosary provides another opportunity for students to participate fully in faith experiences.
Celebrated on October 4 by the Class of 2023, the Living Rosary honors Mary, Queen of Heaven, as the patroness of Bishop Chatard High School. The procession of seniors into the school’s main gym forms the rosary as students, parents, faculty and staff pray together the mysteries.
The Living Rosary is the longest-standing tradition at Bishop Chatard. This year was the 58th annual celebration.
For more information about Bishop Chatard’s faith-formation program, visit http://www.BishopChatard.org/ministry/.