St. Paul describes his own journey of faith when he writes in his second letter to Timothy, “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me.” This is the same hope that we have for our students, that they live their faith well now and into the future.
O’Gorman Junior High School has a lot to be proud of in regards to the academic, athletic, musical and other extracurricular activities, but as the Chaplain of the school, I would like to point out how important the faith development of our students has grown over the years. Students who attend O’Gorman Junior High School are given many wonderful opportunities to grow, especially in their faith lives. This journey of faith, which continues for our whole life, is given a solid foundation through our religious education courses, prayer and Mass. Given the tools and a firm foundation, we hope to prepare our students to go out into the world to be true followers of Jesus Christ and future leaders who live out the Gospel message. We desire to graduate young men and women who strive to live lives of virtue.
Each Monday and Friday, we begin the academic day with prayer either led by myself, the Chaplain, or one of the faculty members. Beginning and ending the week with our focus on faith and prayer is essential. Our all-school Mass is celebrated every Wednesday at 1:10 pm in our converted gymnasium. We always welcome family and friends to join us in this celebration and worship. Each week a different priest from the Sioux Falls area comes to celebrate the Mass giving the students a wide variety of personalities, messages and encounters. The music for all our Masses is presented by a worship team made up of junior high students who do a wonderful job in leading us in song. On most Fridays as well, Mass is offered at 7:30 am in the O’Gorman Junior High Chapel giving us one more opportunity to come together in prayer. Finally, during the Advent and Lenten Seasons, school-wide confessions are heard from a cadre of dedicated priests who live in and around Sioux Falls. We also have confessions every Wednesday during lunch study halls.
Our goal is to give our students the opportunity to know and understand the love of God in their lives through these and many more activities offered daily. It is a privilege for me to have the opportunity to work with these students!