We welcomed our grandparents to Ave Maria Academy to celebrate Grandparent's Day. This is an annual tradition in which we honor and offer our gratitude to them. The students sang a lovely arrangement of songs and we heard from 8th Grader, Arianna Roban, Board Member, Brenda McGrath, and Annual Fund Chairs, Mark & Terri Schoenfelder. With over 200 grandparents in attendance, it was like a large family gathering!
The celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints’ Day was a joyous one. Saints were all over the place as all the students and teachers dressed up as saints they look up to and admire. The Parade of All Saints was led by the upper school students, into the gymnasium, singing the Litany of Saints. Then, in front of peers, family, and friends, the students went on stage to introduce themselves and the saints in which they were dressed. The festivities ended with a pizza lunch and recess with their buddies. What a day!
Praise. Honor. Proclaim. The 4th-8th grade students had a wonderful experience as they joined thousands of other Catholic school students from across the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the celebration of Holy Mass. This took place at U.S. Bank Stadium!
“I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.” (Our Lady to Sister Lucia at Fatima, Portugal, October 13th, 1917) On October 7th we celebrate the feast of the patron saint of this school: Mary, Mother of God, under the glorious title of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. This day was initially the feast of Mary under the title of Our Lady of Victory because of the victory won by the Catholic fleet, The Holy League, who fought against the Islamic Ottoman navy who were trying to invade Christendom at the battle of Lepanto October 7th, 1571.
The first AMA guy's night was a success with 15 students in attendance. The 5th-8th grade boys along with a few alumni were able to play activities, have a snack and reflect on Sundays gospel reading. The next meeting will be Sunday, September 23rd from 6 to 8 p.m. bring a friend.
The students had an awards ceremony followed by a picnic lunch with a fun afternoon of playing outside with their friends. Many blessings to you and your family as you enjoy a beautiful and relaxing summer. We look forward to seeing you in the fall!
This is a special day for our 2nd graders who have received their first Holy Communion this year. The celebration began with a votive mass to the Blessed Virgin Mary and immediately followed by a procession to the statue of Mary off of Bass Lake Road where we crowned the Queen of Heaven. We rejoiced because Mary is our mother who looks after us. The United States Council of Catholic Bishops reminds us that “the queen symbol was attributed to Mary because she was a perfect follower of Christ, who is the absolute ‘crown’ of creation.” Let us always call on our mother, the Queen of Heaven, and ask her to pray for us and keep watch over us every day of our lives.
Forty-three amazing 5th-8th grade students made up this year’s drama club. They performed The Wizard of Oz in a sold out gym. Not only did the cast learn their lines, songs, and dances, but they also created and painted the set and ran their own backstage! Congratulations to everyone in drama club for a great performance!
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his book “Spirit of the Liturgy” wrote, "Jewish tradition gave the date of March 25 to Abraham's sacrifice. ... It was also considered, very early on, as the day of Christ's death and eventually as the day of His conception." The feast of the Annunciation, otherwise known as the Incarnation (conception) of Our Lord, is one of the oldest feasts in the Church. There are two focal points to this feast. The name connotes the first focal point for this feast: we recall the archangel, Saint Gabriel, announcing to Mary, our Blessed Mother, that she was highly favored and chosen by God to be the His own mother. She thus consented to be the mother of God by declaring: "Be it done to me according to thy word". So we honor Mary’s pivotal role in our own redemption and salvation. By becoming the mother of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus, the Christ, she not only becomes the mother of God but she becomes our mother too—the new Eve, the “mother of all the living”. For as Sacred Scripture says, He is the First Born of the Living and we all live by, in, and with Him! So she is God’s mother by nature and our mother by grace. This grace was received when we were baptized into Christ Jesus, thereby becoming part of His Mystical Body, the Church, and also partakers of Christ’s inheritance which is Eternal Life. So, by her consent to God’s Will, Mary gives God a human nature and she therefore gives us a Savior. And when we honor Mary, we are always honoring our dear LORD too! By her “yes” or “fiat” to God, we naturally must recall the Incarnation of our God—the second Person of the Most Holy Trinity: “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” When Mary gave her consent to God’s plan, Jesus was conceived in her womb. And though during Christmas we celebrate God’s incarnation by simultaneously celebrating His holy birth, the feast of the Annunciation is when we really and truly celebrate when the uncreated God first took on human flesh and was conceived and incarnated. This is why we celebrate the Annunciation (Jesus’ conception) on March 25th because nine months later on December 25th we celebrate his birth! This year the Catholic Church transferred the feast to April 9th because March 25th landed on Palm Sunday. A closing piece of interesting information about March 25th is that the English, and the English Colonies (aka United States of America before our country was establish) and other European nations celebrated New Year’s Day on this day for centuries up until 1752! Back then the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th) was called Lady Day in honor of Our Lady, Mary! In 1751, Parliament decided to follow suit with other European nations to switch from the Julian calendar to the reformed Gregorian calendar in 1752 thereby switching New Year’s day from March 25th to January 1st for England and the English Colonies.
Joseph Turner, Ave Maria Academy 6th - 8th Grade Religion Teacher
When asked to write a reflection on Easter, one can become quite overwhelmed because Easter is the holiest feasts of all the feasts of the Church’s Liturgical Calendar. What does one say? How could one say or write anything profound when there is an infinite amount of good things to say about this most blessed feast? How does one keep the message brief? Well, a prayer to the Holy Spirit for guidance and an eagerness to share the joy of this festival is responsible for this Easter reflection. We get the name Easter from the Anglo-Saxon word for the Spring Equinox, “Eostre” or “Eastre”.
The 4th graders collected personal care items for Sharing and Caring Hands and delivered all of the donations on March 20th. They toured the facility, met Mary Jo Copeland and saw some of the people their donations would help.Here are some of their reactions to the trip.
“When we were leaving I was happy that I have all that I need and more.” – Isabella Tschida
“On the way I was happy and excited but a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect.” – Kristen Waller
“I kept thinking about how much I have, how amazing Mary Jo Copeland is and that she may become a saint someday.” – Sierra Peterson
“I was so excited to meet Mary Jo Copeland!” – Vance Sabers
“At Sharing and Caring Hands I was very grateful for a house, food, clothes and a bed. I was sad that so many people don’t have these things.” – Anya Szwejbka
Our 15th annual gala at The Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park, MN successfully fulfilled what Ave Maria Academy believes in: Faith, Reason, Virtue, and Community.
The gala was presented to an audience full of family and friends that came together for an amazing evening of fun and generosity. The gala raised over $175,000!
We are so grateful for the presence of so many of our families as well as the generosity you put forth in making this event possible. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. John Schoenfelder who won the $10,000 raffle drawing! We hope you are able to join us next year!
Our annual spelling bees took place on February 8th and, once again, proved to be impressive displays of academic excellence.First grader Tristan Arnett took first place in the lower school bee, and fifth grader Ruby Ryan was the champion of the upper school bee.Congratulations to all the participants and alternates: Tristan Arnett, Genevieve Sullivan, Jacob Danielson, Bekett Nelson, Andrew Sullivan, Whitney Lorenz, Maizie Adams, Simon Kielty, Jane Sullivan, Veronica Wahl, Pamela Garcia, Ruby Ryan, Jayden Nyabuti-Waste, Justin Waller, Joseph Slaven, Hannah Antonio, Nicholas Cormier, Mary Karol Schmitz, Jack McGuire, Sidney Borland, Mateo Wegner, and Jack Lindberg.
Catholic Schools Week was fun for all of the students. Started the week with silly sock/slipper day, then the AMA olympics, Mass, buddy bingo, hat day, a pep rally and ended the week with the lower school going bowling and the upper school skiing at Afton Alps. Throughout the week the students were also on the hunt for a hidden medallion and in the end the 2nd graders came away with discovery it.
The 5th through 8th grade students ventured out in the snow to participate in the March for Life at the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Minnesota State Capitol.Archbishop Hebda spoke to the students at the prayer service, and Mary Karol Schmitz and Madeline Holewa read the Prayer Intentions.It was such a great experience on a very cold, wintery day.
Two students from each class, in grades 4-8, advanced to the All School Geography Bee.
The classroom winners were:
4th grade: Brooke Huegel and Sonoma Peterson
5th grade: Cole Lindberg and Ian Schwab
6th grade: Katia Szwejbka and Jackson Day
7th grade: Jazzlyn Barroso-Jones and Nick Merriman
8th grade: Rachel Sester and Sidney Borland
In a great competition the field was lowered to 2 students – Sidney Borland and Jackson Day. The championship round determined the winner. Jackson came out victorious, Sidney took second place and Nick Merriman third place. Jackson, who is in 6th grade, will take a 70 question test that will determine if he advances to the next round of competition. Congratulations Jackson!
The middle school Advent retreat is an opportunity for the 6th-8th graders to get off campus and have some time to draw closer to Jesus during the Advent season. Throughout the retreat, students had talks, games, meditations, prayers, and activities centered around this year’s theme –the theological virtues. Some of the favorites were the “Minute to Win It” challenges, the Advent calendar craft, and the “Faith, Hope, and Charity Scooter Game”. Of course the best part of the day was confession and Holy Mass. A wonderful and faith-filled day was had by all!
We welcomed our grandparents to the school this morning as the tradition continued to honor and offer our gratitude to them this Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The students sang a lovely arrangement of songs and we heard from 8th grader, Jack Lindberg, grandmother, Brenda McGrath, and Annual Fund Chairs, Steve and Carrie Schmitz. With over 200 grandparents in attendance, it was like a family gathering! From the faculty and staff of Ave Maria Academy, happy Grandparents Day and have a beautiful Thanksgiving!
The 6th - 8th grade science fair was a huge success. Students created science projects such as “How does the type of fruit / vegetable affect how much energy it contains?” and “How does sand, salt or sugar affect how fast ice melts?”. The first place winners were Sidney Borland (8th grade) — “How does the angle of a compressed air rocket affect the distance traveled?”, Eva Schwab (7th grade) — “How do the amount of calcium eaten by a chicken affect how thick the shell is?” and Jaclyn Mader (6th grade) — “How does a mint affect the temperature of hot water?” It was fun to see all of the students hard at work, great job!
On Mon., Nov. 13th, the 3rd grade class delivered all donated food items totaling over 1000 items to the Franciscan Brothers of Peace. They collected over $1000 in monetary donations as well to bring to the Queen of Peace Friday in order to help needy families during this Thanksgiving season.
Every year, the 8th graders read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.This year, the students were fortunate enough to see the play come to life at the Guthrie Theater.This experience will allow the students to discuss, compare, and contrast this modernized interpretation with the original.Students enjoyed the set and the staging, as well as hearing the proper way to speak the lines, and of course, the sword fighting!
The 4th grade class is studying Minnesota history. They visited Fort Snelling and traveled back in time hundreds of years ago. They watched a movie about the fort and how it has changed over the last 200 years. As the students toured the fort they visited several stations, at each station they met an actor or actress who told them about that part of the fort and what their job was there. During their tour they met or visited: a teacher at the schoolhouse, a laundress, a soldier, Colonel Snelling’s house, the hospital and a blacksmith shop. It was a wonderful field trip that brought their history curriculum to life!
The celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints’ Day was a joyous one. Saints were all over the place as all the students and teachers dressed up as saints they look up to and admire. The Parade of All Saints was led by the upper school students, into the gymnasium, singing the Litany of Saints. Then, in front of peers, family, and friends, the students went on stage to introduce themselves and the saints in which they were dressed. The festivities ended with a pizza lunch and recess with their buddies. It’s not every day that you see The Blessed Noah floating down the halls in his ark! What a day!
This week, AMA received a visit from Bishop Patrick Chisanga of the Diocese of Mansa in Zambia (Southern Africa). Bishop Chisanga was in the United States for a visit and had never been to a Catholic school here before. What an honor for Ave Maria students! Bishop Chisanga celebrated Mass with the 5th-8th Grade students, ate some Italian lunch with our 5K winners, and toured the classrooms. We were so blessed by his presence!
Ave Maria Academy has adopted Bass Lake Road from Highway 101 to Vicksburg Lane! This past week the students in 6th-8th grade worked together to clean up the road, a great way for our students and school to serve the local community.
The 2017 Crusader Classic 5K was held on October 7th. The rain stayed away while our families took part in the race. What a great day to hold this event to support our school. Thanks to everyone who ran, walked, strolled or rode in our race. And a very special thanks to all of our sponsors, what a fun day to bring our families and friends together.
Forty fathers & sons braved the warm fall temperatures to pitch a tent for a night at Interstate State Park near Taylor Falls, MN. A great time was had by all! Thank you to Larry McCullough & Ian Schotanus for co-chairing the Father/Son Campout!
The 7th and 8th graders had the opportunity to go to Base Camp, a facility that is owned and operated by the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America.This field trip is part of AMA’s commitment to character and leadership formation.At Base Camp boys and girls, in separate groups, participated in archery as well as a series of games designed to build teamwork and discover leadership qualities and styles.The highlight of the day was when each student got the chance to tackle the indoor climbing wall, a structure with routes between 24 and 32 feet high that simulates the natural rock face of the St. Croix River bluffs.The students all challenged themselves to climb as high as they could, many reaching the top!However, the most important part was the way every student encouraged each other to do their personal best.The trip was a success as everyone learned something about themselves, leadership, and friendship.
The Pre-K Parent Social involved breakfast, an icebreaker and social time, and visit to the classrooms.
In addition to Steve Schmitz's testimony, offering families a sense of initiative and commitment that is the school’s legacy, some newer members of the community, including several Pre-K parents, Loredana Morett-Herbst and Erin Murphy (ECFL facilitators and Familia members) promoted opportunities to build friendships and grown in faith through AMA based parent-child classes and parent study groups. Shelley Gracia, shared how she spearheaded two Pre-K family outings, last year, caroling at a local retirement home and a Minneapolis Art Institute Pre-K sketch crawl. Kim Day described her initiative that brought together many of the classroom’s parents at social gatherings to build social connection.
Today, September 8th, in the Liturgical Calendar we celebrate the anniversary of the nativity, or birth, of Our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of the Universe! It is exactly nine months after we celebrated Her Immaculate Conception, December 8th (Mary, by the overflowing Grace of Almighty God, was preserved from the stain of Original Sin at the moment of Her conception). Her parents, tradition tells us, were Anne and Joachim. When Mary was born a light arose amid the darkness: the dawn of the glorious day that was to usher in the Redeemer. So, too, the darkness of the sinner’s soul is dispersed by Mary’s holy influence. Where the love of her is born in the soul, all becomes full of light, and Jesus comes to make His habitation there. Mary, in the first hour of her life, brought more glory to God than all the Saints of the Old Testament. In her were made perfect the obedience of Abraham, the chastity of Joseph, the patience of Job, the meekness of Moses, the prudence of Joshua. It is because she is the model and pattern of these and all other virtues that she can communicate them to us.
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! We hope everyone had a great summer and that students and their families are ready to return to the excitment of learning, faith building and life long friend making. Our dedicated staff has been working hard to prepare for another amazing year, building on the success and accomplishments of last year. Good luck to a great school year!
It was nice to see the halls filled with kids and families at our back to school night event. Students had the chance to meet their teachers, drop off their school supplies, and catch up with friends. We are looking forward to the first day of school next week.
A stellar group of mothers and daughters in the 5th-8th grades paddled 7 miles down the St. Croix River this past weekend. Our second year embarking on this trip for our older mothers and daughters, the ladies enjoyed learning the art of teamwork and paddling, zigzagging and circles included! It is always a gift to take a step back from mirrors and cell phones and enjoy a day in the quiet of nature and the company of family and friends. We were blessed with a calm breeze and sunny skies. Looking forward to next year!
In Geography class, 8th graders chose a country to research for the Geography Fair, where they present all of their information that they learned such as the culture, language, government and economy. It is a great opportunity for them to teach the younger students, as well as other teachers, about their country.
The celebration began with a votive mass to the Blessed Virgin Mary and immediately followed by a procession to the statue of Mary off of Bass Lake Road where we crowned the Queen of Heaven. We rejoiced because Mary is our mother who looks after us. The United States Council of Catholic Bishops reminds us that “the queen symbol was attributed to Mary because she was a perfect follower of Christ, who is the absolute ‘crown’ of creation.” Let us always call on our mother, the Queen of Heaven, and ask her to pray for us and keep watch over us every day of our lives.
The 2017 Spring Drama Club production was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, an adaptation by Tim Kelly of Lewis Carroll’s classic stories Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The students vividly brought to life Alice and her fantastical acquaintances such as the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat, Humpty Dumpty and the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter and his companions, and many others, including the infamous Queen of Hearts. Months of hard work by the students resulted in a delightful performance.
This Easter season we are grateful for the teachers, students and families that make Ave Maria Academy a wonderful place to grow and learn. Praying you have a relaxing time with friends and family and have the chance to reflect on the past year and a wonderful and exciting year to come.
The 3rd graders were given the assignment of researching a central state, creating a collage to represent the state and come up with a word search. To add to the fun they were asked to dress as someone or something from the state they researched. Then they presented their work to the class.
Our 20th Anniversary Gala was a smashing success! So many of our current and former families were in attendance as well as over 40 alumni. With nearly 125 silent auction items, the talents of our emcee, John Crudele, and the comedic improv of our auctioneer, Frank O’Sullivan, it is no wonder we raised over $250,000 in a single evening! We are so grateful for the outpouring of support for our beloved academy. Thank you to all of you who donated in any capacity to make the evening so successful.
Ave Maria Annual Spelling Bee and the New North Suburban Spelling Bee
Our annual spelling bees took place on February 16th and, once again, proved to be impressive displays of academic excellence. Second grader Emma Bolos took first place in the lower school bee, which continued for almost a full hour of rigorous competition. Fourth grader Pamela Garcia was the lower school second place winner. After 45 minutes of intense spelling, eighth grader Valerie Fish emerged as the upper school champion, with fellow eighth grader Jonathan Ganzer taking second place. Valerie will be taking the Scripps National Spelling Bee online test to see if she qualifies to move on to the next level of competition. In addition, students who were in the 5th-8th grade upper school bee are invited to compete in the second annual North Suburban Spelling Bee held on Monday, March 13, 2017 at 6:30p.m. This relatively new initiative, hosted by St. Raphael Catholic School in Crystal, will bring together students from several area Catholic schools for a night of lively spelling competition. Ave Maria is excited to be a part of it.
The kindergarten class celebrated 100 days of school. One of the teachers even dressed as a 100 year old lady and they are 100 days brighter now! They also brought 100 items for snack and sorted them into groups of 100 before enjoying some of them.
This week we celebrated Catholic schools week at Ave Maria Academy. The students enjoyed a family dance, game day, the olympics, buddy bingo, a pep rally, pizza lunch, and either bowling or skiing. The students also participated in a medallion hunt throughout the week. During the olympics they competed in five different events: Olympic trivia, curling, speed skating, the luge and the javelin throw. Teams moved from event to event competing against a different country at each event. Japan was undefeated in all five events and won this year’s Winter Olympics. Ave Maria also participated in an apostolic project of collecting jars of jam to donate to the local food shelf.
The 3rd graders studied Ancient Rome throughout the 2nd quarter. They celebrated the end of their unit with Roman music, food and drinks. The highlights of their chapter included studying Julius Caesar, Constantine, and The Colosseum. They made Laurel Wreaths to wear at the feast.
On Thursday evening, Dec. 29th, alumni, former students, current and past teachers gathered at Ave Maria Academy to celebrate our First Ever! 20th Anniversary All School Reunion.
Judging by the “shrieks" of former fellow classmates as they were reacquainted with each other - the Reunion was a smashing success!
The evening began with mass celebrated by Fr. Magner in our very own chapel. To see our former students receiving Eucharist at the communion rail could only bring thanksgiving to your heart. So many years of planning, dreaming, hard work, and faith to get to this point and here we are receiving Jesus in our new chapel. Many alumni commented how special it was to be in that most beautiful, holy space in the new school.
Following mass were tours, refreshments, and a conference room filled with yearbooks, photo albums, scrap books, and other past paraphernalia. Mr. Norton welcomed the former students and our past and current teachers with a Memorare. How fitting! It has been the prayer of Cedarcrest/Ave Maria Academy since our inception. Our Lady has been with us since our humble beginnings and continues to aid us.
The evening reminded all of us how important our friendships really are…especially those that are rooted in Christ. May we always keep each other in prayer as we look forward to meeting again.
Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to men of good will.
In his poem The Journey of the Magi, T.S. Eliot gives voice to one of the Wise Men. Speaking of his faithful journey to the joys of Christmas he admits that the way was hard, with arduous roads and treacherous weather, but in spite of it all, he majestically proclaims, “I would do it again.”
In our encounter with the Divine Christ Child, let us echo these words in our hearts and in our actions. Our Advent journey has led us to the grace of the Messiah and despite our difficulties, what other road could we wish to trod? We too must joyfully exclaim, “I would do it again.”
From all of us at Ave Maria Academy, we wish you a season of peace and joy as we celebrate the humble birth of our glorious Lord and Savior, Jesus!
The Ave Maria Academy Christmas Pageant was held on Wednesday, December 21st at 6:30pm. The students, under the direction of Miss Marianne McCoy, sang a variety of Christmas songs. The older grades performed a Christmas play that was narrated by the students. Coventry Carol was played by the band ensemble and then the concert ended with the entire school singing Silent Night, Holy Night.
Ave Maria’s 2017 Geography Bee was held on Thursday, December 15th. Two students from each class, in grades 4-8, advanced to the All School Geography Bee.
The classroom winners were:
4th grade: Jayden Nybuti-Waste and Joshua Roban
5th grade: Katia Szwejbka and David Bakke
6th grade: Arianna Roban and Jack McGuire
7th grade: Mateo Wegner and Madeline Holewa
8th grade: Abby Schmitz and Jonathan Ganzer
In a great competition the field was lowered to 2 students – David Bakke and Madeline Holewa. The championship round determined the winner. Madeline came out victorious, David Bakke took second place and Jonathan Ganzer third place. Madeline, who is in 7th grade, will take a 70 question test that will determine if she advances to the next round of competition. Congratulations Madeline!
The 7th and 8th grade students had the opportunity to attend Base Camp. At this unique facility, owned and operated by the Northern Star Council-Boy Scouts of America, students were able to take part in various activities including an indoor high ropes course and games designed to increase team building and leadership skills. Students learned to work together and communicate to solve a variety of “situations”. Tools such as these will serve our students well as they lead others here at Ave Maria and beyond.
The 6th - 8th grade science fair was a huge success. Students created science projects such as “How does the battery charge time affect the RPMs of a toy car?” and “How does the type of liquid affect the gas production?”. The first place winners were Grace Walz (8th grade) — “How does the size of a magnet affect the amount of energy it produces?”, Madeline Holewa (7th grade) — “How does Viscosity of a liquid affect the fall time?” and Sam Norton (6th grade) — “How do different salt compounds affect the decomposition of a hot dog?” It was fun to see all of the students hard at work, great job!
We welcomed our grandparents to the school this morning as the tradition continued to honor and offer our gratitude to them this Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The students sang a lovely arrangement of songs and we heard from 8th grader, Ryleigh Hemingway, and long-time grandmother, Gerri Hanken. With over 200 grandparents in attendance, it was like a family gathering! From the faculty and staff of Ave Maria Academy, happy Grandparents Day and have a beautiful Thanksgiving!
On Friday, November 4th, our middle school students (6th-8th graders) took a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI. The Shrine was built in the early 2000’s under the leadership of Cardinal Raymond Burke, then Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse. An excerpt from its mission statement provides a beautiful explanation of its reason for existence: “The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, faithful to the message of the Blessed Virgin Mary through her appearances on the American continent in 1531, serves the spiritual needs of those who suffer poverty in body and soul. It is a place of ceaseless prayer for the corporal and spiritual welfare of God’s children, especially those in most need.” The grounds of the Shrine are extensive and include a votive candle chapel, a memorial to the unborn, an outdoor stations of the cross and a rosary walk. A group of Franciscan friars are the caretakers of the Shrine, providing spiritual assistance and pastoral care to the visiting pilgrims.
Our students were also privileged with hearing from the daughter of a modern saint! Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla, daughter of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, gave a presentation to all visiting pilgrims and the students were able to meet her afterwards. The trip included a tour of the Shrine church, Mass, a long bus ride, and some wood-fired pizza.
The 4th grade students are studing Minnesota history. On Wednesday, October 26th they visited Fort Snelling and traveled back to the 1800s. They watched a movie about the fort and how it has changed over the last 200 years. As they toured the fort they visited several stations. At each station the students met an actor or actress who told them about that part of the fort and what their job was at the fort. During the tour they met/visited: a guard at the front gate, teacher at the schoolhouse, a laundress, a soldier, Colonel Snelling’s house, an Indian agent, the hospital and a blacksmith shop. It was a wonderful field trip that brought Minnesota history curriculum to life!
The celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints’ Day was a joyous one. Saints were all over the place as all the students and teachers dressed up as a saint they look up to and admire. The Parade of All Saints into the gymnasium was led by the upper school singing the Litany of the Saints. Then, in front of peers, family, and friends, the students went on stage to introduce themselves and which saint they were. The festivities ended with a pizza lunch and recess with their buddies. It’s not every day that you see St. Francis of Assisi and St. Thomas Aquinas playing soccer together! What a day!
The Girls Crusaders Volleyball team ended the season with a tournament championship win in the North Suburban Parochial School League. They finished the season with eight wins and lost to only two teams. Many thanks to their dedicated coaches Carrie Schmitz and Jolene Schmitz. Congratulations Girls!
The Ave Maria Academy Cross Country team is about half way through their season. The team is made up of 5th through 8th graders and a few home schooled students. There are 6 boys and 3 girls on the team. Please come and cheer on the Crusaders at their next meet.
Last Friday we celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist in the morning, had pizza for lunch, and the lower school watched a movie together while the upper school played kickball and dodgeball. All of this was done in order to show our joy and thanksgiving for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Our Lady of the Rosary, our patroness, pray for us!
The 2016 Crusader Classic 5K was held on October 1st. We couldn't have asked for a better day to hold this event to support our school. Thanks to everyone who ran, walked, strolled or rode in our race. And a very special thanks to all of our sponsors, what a fun day to bring our families and friends together.
At Ave Maria we offer 4 different after school clubs that the kids can be involved in. We are excited to introduce a few clubs that are new to this school year. Hope your child has a chance to participate in one or more of these great opportunities.
Engineering for Kids: they bring science, technology, engineering and math to kids ages K-5th Grade in a fun and challenging way.
Chess Club: Twin Cities Chess Club teaches strategies & tactics for the game of chess. This is offered to students K-8th Grade.
Lil’ Kickers: They incorporate creativity, high energy and age-appropriate activities that serve as a great introduction to soccer. This is offered to students in PK4-4th Grade
KidzArt: Creativity takes flight as the kids discover the artist in them. KidzArt is a unique, confidence building creative arts program with new projects each week.
Over 40 AMA PK parents attended this week’s Pre-K Social on Wednesday morning from 8:15-10am. The social provided an opportunity for parents to see students and their teachers in action during morning prayer and math meeting. Principal Norton offered a welcoming prayer and a faith inspiring parenting pep talk. He received a warm applause from attendees. After the classroom visit parents participated in an ice-breaker, listened to several speakers (offering information about upcoming social opportunities), and enjoyed home made breakfast items from Pre-K room parents, Mrs. Katie Adams (PK3-Walz), Mrs. Mary Vincent Roy (PK4-Buss), Mrs. Kristina Schaus (PK4-Northenscold). A big thanks to our generous room parents, Katie, Mary and Kristina as well as to organizers, Mrs. Kristin Basgall and Mrs. Julie Szwejbka, Ave Maria room parent coordinator.
Ave Maria Academy Hosts: Our Lady of Fatima Presentation
Tuesday, September 20th at 6:30 pm.
Ave Maria Academy is delighted to host a presentation to learn more about the continued relevance and importance of Our Lady’s appearances in Fatima, Portugal almost 100 years ago. We now have the ability to look back over history and see how Our Lady prophetically warned us of the consequences of turning away from God – which includes war, violence and persecution of the Church. Come and learn more about this important message for our families, our country and the world on Tuesday, September 20 at 6:30 pm.
Our guest speaker is Todd Ziesmer, Director of Development for the World Apostolate of Fatima/Our Lady’s Blue Army. He has lived in the Twin Cities for 30 years with his wife, Marie, and has four grown children. Todd helped start the Twin Cities chapter of Legatus in 1999 and Relevant Radio in 2002. In his current role, he is responsible for building up the growth and development activities to spread the Message of Fatima throughout our country. The Pilgrim Statue will be visiting local churches in early October.
All are invited, but please RSVP to the front desk, 763-494-5387 to ensure adequate seating in the Commons area.
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! We hope everyone had a great summer and that students and their families are ready to return to the excitment of learning, faith building and life long friend making. Our dedicated staff has been working hard to prepare for another amazing year, building on the success and accomplishments of last year. Good luck to a great school year!
The heart of Ave Maria Academy’s identity is succinctly reflected in our logo, which symbolizes our belief that faith, reason and virtue are essential to achieving a meaningful life. Our devotion to Mary, our faithfulness to Christ, our adherence to Catholic teaching, and our commitment to academic rigor are all symbolically present in the shield. Our motto is emblazoned on the banner above the shield and translates simply as “Thy will be done.”
ROYAL BLUE is the color of royalty and welcomes the coming of Christ the King.
BRIGHT BLUE is Mary’s color, reflecting the color of the sky where angels first heralded Jesus’ birth.
YELLOW symbolizes light, the presence of God, and the renewal of hope.
WHITE represents purity, holiness, and virtue, as well as respect and reverence.
Congratulations to our 8th grade graduates, Ikemonso, Mae, Ben, Olivia, Lucy, Colleen, Helena, Christina and James. A very nice ceremony was held on June 2, 2016 to honor these wonderful 8th graders. Good luck as you enter into a new chapter of your life, high school.
Field Day started off outside and due to rain was moved into the school, but the kids didn’t care they still had a great time. They played games such as basketball throw, bean bag balance, shoe relay, three legged race and hula hoop obstacle course. Next was a friendly game of teachers vs 8th graders volleyball. And the day ended with treats and announcing the white team as the winners of Field Day 2016.
Ave Maria Academy students in grades 5th — 8th put on an outstanding performance, Get Smart, on Saturday night with a packed house. Get Smart is based on the 1960s TV comedy about the often inept Maxwell Smart and his fellow secret agents from CONTROL as they fight against evil in the form of the organization KAOS. Max and his partner Agent 99 work to prevent KAOS from stealing a miniature model of a game changing weapon ---the Inthermo---and from kidnapping its creators, the Professors Dante. With the help of Agent 44, Agent 13, the Chief, and other characters from the classic TV show, Max and 99 pit wits and luck against the wiles of KAOS to save the day!
The annual Catechism Bee competition was held on May 13th. The students tested their knowledge of our great faith. Congratulations to our winners, Emma Bolos (lower school winner) and Sidney Borland (upper school winner).
Ave Maria Academy's PrK - 8th Grade celebrated the season with a beautiful Spring Concert on Thursday evening. Each class sang a song and then the chamber choir and the 5th-8th grade choir performed several pieces throughout the event. Narrators walked us through the story of each song selection. All of the students joined in for the last song of the evening, Ave Maria.
This is the first year for our band program and thirteen, 5th–8th grand band students held an impressive performance for their family and friends. The students are instructed by Mr. Pete Enblom. They played a number of songs, and impressed the school with their talents in such a short time of learning their instruments. We hope that the upcoming 5th graders will be interested in this growing program at Ave Maria.
Today we had our May Crowning celebration! The celebration began with a votive mass to the Blessed Virgin Mary and immediately followed by a procession to the statue of Mary off of Bass Lake Road where we will crown the Queen of Heaven. We rejoice becatuse Mary is our mother who looks after us. The United States Council of Catholic Bishops reminds us that “the queen symbol was attributed to Mary because she was a perfect follower of Christ, who is the absolute ‘crown’ of creation.” Let us always call on our mother, the Queen of Heaven, and ask her to pray for us and keep watch over us every day of our lives.
Public Class is an annual academic challenge between students in the same class. Each class is divided into two teams and they compete against each other on questions posed from their teachers in each of the core academic subjects. The purpose of holding public class is to provide an opportunity for the students to develop poise and presentation in front of a group of people. Beginning in kindergarten, the students acquire wonderful skills in public speaking and confidence through this exercise.
On April 23rd, we held our annual gala at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park, MN and it successfully fulfilled what Ave Maria Academy believes in — FAITH. REASON. VIRTUE.
The gala was presented to an audience full of family and friends that came together for an amazing evening of fun and generosity. The gala raised over $250,000 and a special congratulations goes out to Mr. and Mrs. Carbonari that won the $10,000 raffle and to Jessica Doboszenski who won the $2,000 towards tuition.
Thanks to all that joined us on this amazing annual event, and hope you will join us again next year.
Check back later for more pictures of this wonderful evening.
The 4th graders collected personal care items throughout the month of March. As a school we collected 7,655 diapers, 349 razors, 74 deodorants and 385 toothbrushes!
The 4th graders toured the facility and met Mary Jo Copeland. Here are some of the students’ reactions after they returned from this apostolic field trip.
“I am very lucky to have a home, a good education, great parents, food, a bed and nice friends.” - Patrick Newman
“When I saw Mary Jo Copeland it felt like you were looking at the face of an angel.” - Erin Kielty
“When I saw all the people at Sharing and Caring Hands I was mixed with happiness and sadness for them.” - Jack Huegel
“After visiting Sharing and Caring Hands I realized I am greatful for what I have.” - Joseph Slaven
“When we got back I stopped for a moment to think about all I had and I thought I am lucky to have great parents, a kind sister, a home, food to eat and a lot of supplies to help me every day of my life.” - Gracie Griep
“Packing up the cars was fun! We brought so much to them and we even got to meet Mary Jo Copeland!” - Ryan Hanson
“The video was very powerful. I never thought a video would be so beautiful and emotional.” - Hannah Antonio
“When I saw Mary Jo I thought it was a vision! When she hugged me I thought I was in Heaven because she is like a saint!” - Katia
As part of the Easter season as well as the Year of Mercy, we will be participating in the Living Water program through the archdiocese. Our archdiocese has had a partnership with the diocese in Kitui, Kenya for several years. This program serves as a way for the faithful to learn about and participate in the Church’s mission of propagating the faith and serving our brothers and sisters in need.
Each classroom received a calendar and a water bottle. The calendar provides prayers for and information on the Kitui people and helps students realize the works of mercy. The water bottle is for collecting change that will be used to purchase large water tanks for collecting scarce rainwater in Kitui. Each classroom will walk through the Easter season with the people of Kitui, lifting them up in prayer and practicing mercy. If you have a chance, ask your son or daughter about what they have learned. It’s beautiful to realize the universal nature of our Church!
Holy Week is upon us and through out the school you will notice purple veils. The practice started in the 9th century. Churches around Europe started covering all statues and pictures of saints, Persons of the Trinity, and all crosses (except the processional Cross used during Mass) with purple cloth for the whole of Lent.
They did this for 3 reasons:
1. It symbolized how Christ hid from the Jewish authorities who repeatedly wanted to stone him so he could carry out his mission. So now he hides from the world in order to prepare for the mysteries of His Passion.
2. It helped them focus solely on the Lord and his Passion. The only image one could see at Mass was the processional cross.
3. By covering the images and crosses, it increases our desire to see them. We hunger and thirst for their truth, goodness, and beauty. These desires are good desires, but for a time we don’t indulge in them in order to focus more fully on Christ. In 9th century Germany there was a beautiful custom where they would extend a large piece of cloth before the altar. This cloth, called the hungertuch (hunger cloth), hid the altar entirely from the congregation during Lent and was not removed until the reading of the Passion on Holy Wednesday at the words “the veil of the temple was rent in two.”
Eventually in the 17th century this practice of veiling was moved back until the two weeks before Easter Sunday, then known as Passiontide. Today Passiontide is only the last week of Lent, and so most churches veil starting on Palm Sunday.
We are going to incorporate both traditions into our life at Ave Maria Academy by choosing to veil sacred images like icons and paintings from the beginning of Lent onward and to veil every cross but the processional cross from the week before Passiontide onward.
We pray that you and your family have a blessed Easter season.
To celebrate St. Patrick's Day the Kindergarten class created leprechaun traps to hopefully capture a magical leprechaun. They set up their traps and while they were away the naughty little leprechaun appeared in their room and made a big mess. He left behind some tasty treats for each of the children.
For their apostolic trip this year, the 8th graders made sandwiches for the homeless staying at Simpson Housing Services Emergency Shelter. The students were able to make 100 sandwiches and 50 bag lunches for the men and women at the shelter. We were able to deliver the sandwiches, tour the facility, and participate in an online budgeting activity aimed and learning more about homelessness.
Throughout the year students at Ave Maria Academy work on an Apostolic Project. They collect items for a shelter, donate their time or share their talents. Today the 6th Grade Apostolic Field Trip was to St. Therese Nursing Home. They spent the afternoon talking with residents and two of the students performed an Irish Dance in their costumes!
There were about 30 moms that participated in our Moms Night Out event. We played a great game of Bunco and was able to socialize with other Ave Maria moms. Everyone had a great time and either freshened up some old skills or learned some new ones. So much fun!
The students competed for the winning position in the Spelling Bee on Thursday. Classroom bees were held to determine the two students from each grade that would advance to the school-wide bee. As in years past, it proved to be a spirited contest.
The winner of the lower grades was Justin Waller and for the upper grades was Ikemonso Ayika. Ikemonso is now invited to compete in the first annual North Suburban Spelling Bee held on Monday, February 29, 2016 at 6:30p.m. at St. Raphael Catholic School. This new initiative, hosted by St. Raphael Catholic School in Crystal, will bring together students from six area Catholic schools. Grade level competitions will begin the contest, then the top student from each grade level will compete together in a final “Spell Off”. There will be certificates for everyone and a trophy for the winner. It should be an excellent night of lively competition. We are excited to be a part of it.
Teaching the fundamentals of basketball to our future Crusaders in grades 1 - 4!
This program will introduce the three basic fundamentals of basketball; dribbling, passing and shooting. There will be a lot of games and drills to get kids excited about basketball. The basketballs are size 28.5 and the baskets will be lowered to 8.5'.
Coached by Doug & Colleen Sabers the grades are divided into 2 groups: 1st & 2nd Grade play on Saturdays 9:30 am – 10:30 am and 3rd & 4th Grade play Saturdays 10:40 am – 11:40 am all on DATES: Feb: 6, 13, 20, 27; March: 5, 12, 19; April: 2, 9, 16.
Each of the classrooms are celebrating this festive day in a different way. We have had preschoolers on parade and artistic masks & beads being made. Even the sounds of New Orleans is coming from band practice. The classrooms are decorated and parties are planned throughout the day.
We started the week off with our annual AMA Family Dance. We had over 40 families dancing and having a wonderful time. The theme this year was...Come "Jam" with us! Which kicked off the apostolic project for the week...collecting jars of jam to donate to the local food shelf. Each day during the week the kids receive a clue to help them find the hidden medallion and they have some special way to celebrate the spirit of the school: Monday - Silly Socks/Slippers and Game Day Tuesday - Spirit Wear Day & School Olympics Wednesday - Buddy Bingo Thursday - Hat Day, Pizza Lunch & Pep Rally Friday - School colors day & field trip fun It is a fun and exciting week.
The students & staff of Ave Maria Academy were thrilled to watch the new scoreboard being installed today. Our girls basketball team will be the first to play with the new board next week. Be sure to check the athletics tab on the website for the upcoming games and a picture of the board.
Ave Maria Academy's Kindergarten - 8th Grade celebrated the season with a beautiful Christmas Pageant on Friday evening. Each class sang a song and the band performed several pieces throughout the event. Narrators walked us through the story of Jesus while characters acted out the scenes. All of the students, families & guests joined in for the last song of the evening, Joy to the World.
We were honored by the presence of His Excellency, Bishop Andrew Cozzens who came today to dedicate the altar and offer upon it the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Rite of Dedication changes the altar from a commonplace object to one given exclusively for the worship of Almighty God. The Rite of Dedication is a permanent, one-time act that employs holy oils and numerous blessings by decree of the local ordinary. This is the beginning of the presence of Our Lord at Ave Maria Academy. We are deeply humbled and sincerely grateful for this immense grace and blessing. May all who pass under Our Lady and walk through our doors be ever closer to Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Our Pre-K Students celebrated the Epiphany with a beautiful performance for parents, grandparents, family friends and the student's school buddy. The Pre-K3 class, all dressed as shepards and sheep brought straw to prepare the manger for baby Jesus and the Pre-K4 students came as wise men, dorning beautiful crowns they made. Each student presented a gift of sacrifice to the baby Jesus. All written on a star to be hung on a tree...promises of extra prayers, offers of kindness and charity and even a few offers to help with extra chores around the house. The students sang some beautiful songs and then ended the event with some delicious treats. Thank you to all those who were able to attend!
Our summer camp program was a big hit last year and we are excited that we are bringing it back even better! See more details.
We are pleased to announce that our summer program will be run by Apollo After School & Summer Camp. Fun weekly Camp Themes, Sports, Arts & Crafts, Music, Dancing, Cooking, Drama, Academic, Party every Friday...just to give you a little peek at the fun. We heard families say they needed longer hours so we are offering an extended hours option. Half Days or Full Days. 1 week or all 8. Registration opens January 5th and closes May 10th or when the program fills...so be sure to sign up early. Register online at www.apollosummercamps.com.
Ave Maria Academy is a private, Catholic school for students in pre-kindergarten (3 & 4 year olds) through grade 8, located in Maple Grove, MN. We form young minds, hearts, and souls through a commitment to clear thinking, academic achievement, character formation, prayer, and service.