Welcoming back our students and families each fall allows us to reflect on the rich history of St. Mary’s Academy and how we live out our mission, vision and values today as an all-girls Catholic college preparatory school. One way we do this is through the core values and charism  (“charism” means a gift from God for the good of God’s people) handed down to us by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. At the heart of the SNJM charism is the core value of hospitality, defined as “being a gracious, accepting, and welcoming presence for each person.”

The Blessed Marie Rose, foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, understood the beauty and grace of hospitality - that to open one’s door is not enough, one must also open one’s heart. She understood that an open heart and caring ears would help her do as Jesus commanded: to love others as they would want to be loved. Students examined this value in TA – their micro-communities within SMA.

Our Back to School Slideshow in this issue of Five on Fifth showcases a few of the ways the SMA community has extended hospitality in these first few weeks of the new academic year, through: our traditional Welcome Assembly, Mass of the Holy Spirit, Back to School Night with parent reception, fall athletic games and gatherings, alumnae reunions, clubs, activities, affinity groups, and more.

In next month’s newsletter, we look forward to showcasing newly renovated spaces that extend this notion of hospitality to innovations in learning and improved health and wellness for students. Stay curious and stay tuned!