On Friday October 5th the Mount Royal school community renewed one of its most enduring traditions. Ever since its origins, MRA has made a special pilgrimage to honor the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Every October 7th students forgo most of their regularly scheduled academic activities, which is exciting for them of course, but also prompts the question: why make such a sacrifice for an old and seemingly insignificant tradition?
Traditions affirm the meaningfulness of life, and on occasion traditions can show us the providential hand of God directing our lives back to Him. Our Headmaster - Mr. Thibault - shared a personal reflection as students and teachers gathered for a picture on the hillside after Mass. As he prayed in preparation for Mass, it struck him that he had been coming to LaSallete shrine in Enfield since he was four years old. In fact, his parents used to take him to LaSallete at least twice a year when the shrine was experiencing extremely high attraction and interest. Was this merely a coincidence, or was this reflection the result of perceiving the handiwork of God once again? The Word that inspires MRA's mission suggests that there are never any coincidences, for there is a loving and caring Creator who sustains all things in existence.
Traditions are important in order to remain grounded and stable. By participating in traditions, we are able to return and reflect on where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. Without traditions, the meaningfulness of life is minimized.
At MRA, we celebrate many annual traditions that help our students remain positive and focused on the future. Traditions such as Spirit Week, All Saints, St. Nicholas' Day, and St. Joseph's feast day give our students something to look forward to. Without traditions, we aren't reminded that there is indeed always something to look forward to. By celebrating these traditions, we recall that we are all looking for that ultimate good which will satisfy our deepest desires. These traditions that may appear odd to others are critical to the educational experience of our students, because they affirm the order and purpose behind human life. God created us for a purpose, and that purpose is to know, love, and serve him in this world, so that we can be eternally happy with Him in the next.
Students, teachers, and parents gathered together to pray and play, for prayer is always a source of joy. Fr. Rene Butler very generously offered the Mass, and after lunch the entire school recited a walking rosary. We lifted up all of those intentions that individuals both inside and outside the community ask us to pray for. It was a beautiful day, and we thanked Mary for giving us the opportunity to retreat from our studies to strengthen our relationship with her Son, Jesus Christ.
Next week we continue another tradition as we celebrate Spirit Week. Stay tuned for more information!
St. Joseph, patron of Mount Royal Academy and beloved spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us!