This fall St. Cecilia School in Tustin gathered its parent community to begin a tradition called Parent and Prayer Night. Parent and Prayer Night at the school is an answer to Bishop Vann’s call for a Year of Prayer, for it is through prayer that one builds a closer relationship with Jesus.
The evening started with parents and faculty attending Mass as a community, followed by a catered dinner served by faculty and staff. Fr. Nicholas Thai, the parish school parochial vicar, shared in his homily the importance of prayer in everyone’s daily life. He encouraged parents to take care of themselves by committing to a daily life of prayer.
“The whole atmosphere was beautiful and it was wonderful to be with parents, friends, and staff for Mass,” said Sharon Henze, a parent at St. Cecilia School.
“It was an eye-opening evening knowing that we could all be together and share about prayer and faith. It is exactly why we are here,” said Georgia Hosoda, a grandmother at St. Cecilia School.
In Orange County Catholic schools, faith formation goes beyond the outward signs, symbols, and rituals of our Catholic tradition. Through a variety of experiences throughout the school year, students and their families have an opportunity to develop a close relationship with Jesus. It is a communal journey that invites community members from the “head” to the “heart.” Growth in virtue and holiness are important marks in the life of lifelong disciples of Jesus. They permeate every part of each person in all aspects of life. It is putting faith in action.
Mary Alvarado, school principal, said, “It was a wonderful evening filled with faithfulness and prayer. Teachers and parents seldom have the opportunity to be together in prayer and fellowship, and I think it was beneficial for the growth of our Catholic identity.”
Admissions Director Adina Braatz added, “We will continue to reach out to our family community to engage our parents during both Advent and Lent since as a Church this is a great time of reflection.”
The mission of St. Cecilia School is “to provide a Christ-centered environment where all students are prepared and empowered to reach their full potential-spiritually, intellectually, socially, and morally.” The school continues an outstanding tradition in academic achievement and sports, built on Gospel values and faith. St. Cecilia students have consistently won awards in the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts Junior Art Exhibit, Orange County Imagination Celebration, Chapman University Holocaust Art and Writing Contest, Academic Decathlon and the Parochial Athletic League.
In 2006, St. Cecilia School received the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award for high test scores in reading and math. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and Western Catholic Education Association. For more information about the school, please go to www.morethanschool.org