Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Tess is an active member at Saint Joan of Arc and Peer Minister in our Youth Ministry program.
The other night I had one of the most direct and telling dreams I’ve ever had. I was walking with some friends and all they were doing was complaining about how much Covid has taken away from us. As most people are, I’m sick and tired of hearing about how much Covid sucks.
So as they were saying they have never been to a high school dance, party, or had any normal high school sophomore experience - I decided I’d had enough. I turned around and raised my voice saying “You guys have done nothing but complain this whole trip! Of course Covid sucks! But it’s a part of life right now!” Then I became filled with this passion and again raised my voice and said “Have any of you done anything to actually do something about this hard year? I could name 25 things that you could be doing instead of complaining right now.”
After I said this, they just stared at me. They didn’t say anything - but only looked at me with an astounded look in their eyes.
But now this is the impressive part; when I woke up, I opened my Devotional to the message of the day and it said to be ready to stand up in a crowd to defend your faith. I was absolutely astonished because I had just dreamt about standing up to my friends...
Enzo is an active member of the Saint Joan of Arc Community and a second year Peer Minister.
So last Tuesday I was just walking along the sidewalk
Gray pavement crunching beneath my feet
I was out for a little breath of fresh air, and more sun then I had seen in weeks
It was kind of an eerie feeling, walking along an empty street,
Yet knowing for a fact that everyone living on the street was here
In their houses, maybe watching TV
A pickup rumbled by, briefly filling the silence with a rush of speed, the blue-black all I could catch in the corner of my eye
Before the offending noise faded behind me
And soon silence had it's reprise
Another strange notion that came to me, as I was walking along that empty street
Was that I felt more claustrophobic out here in the open, then I did in the box that is my bedroom
My mask clinging to me
and not leaving me much space to breathe
Off in the distance, on the other side of the street
A middle aged lady walks towards me
Gray pavement crunching beneath her feet
It’s another person, sure on the other side of this empty street
But now that there’s two of us, we can't quite call it empty, can we?
Yet the distance between us seems bigger to me, the black road stretching on and on like a mighty sea
I don’t know how to react
Has she even seen me?
Do I holler hello across this black tarmac sea, from my shore to her’s
Maybe just a wave, or maybe she doesn’t even want to talk to me
I keep walking
So does she
We give each other a sort of sideways glance
And continue on our individual paths
Leaving the middle aged lady behind me
I keep walking, letting my stride take me
Over the gray pavement, still crunching beneath my feet
The sound of grinding pebbles more deafening than any pickup engine could ever be
Should I have said something?
Should I have tried to cross that sea?
Maybe it wasn’t an ocean at all,
Maybe, if I hadn't just marshaled on
Maybe it would have seemed smaller
If I had just given a holler
across that empty street
4/19/2021 0 Comments
Cydnee Sanders, a member of the SJA Anti-Racism Core Team, guided our conversation with questions and reflections. We wanted to share some of these questions with you, and encourage you to have these conversations with your own teens and families. These discussions can be difficult to have, but that's what makes them so important. Many of the teens shared they don't talk about racial justice much in their schools -- maybe with their friends, but not in the classroom. If you're not sure how to get the conversation going, or want any encouragement or support, please let us know.
Our Peer Ministers compiled a list of Women that they admire and inspire them to celebrate the end of women's history month!
First and most importantly, my mom. She is my rock and moral compass, and supports me in everything I do.
Frida Kahlo, because of her determination to create art even through tragedy.
Marie Curie, because of how she pioneered in her field and pushed on in the face of adversity.
Oprah; because she is so open with her faith and guides and inspires people through her words on it.
Wonder Woman: she’s strong, fearless, kind, and loving while making the world a better place.
My grandma Nanny (Sophie Cavanaugh): Even though she cannot do things with her body anymore, she loves me so much and I want to learn from that. From her I know I can make a difference in people's lives with nothing except a few words.
My Aunt Greta
Eleanor Roosevelt because she worked for what she believed in and worked past obstacles
Ruth Bader Ginsberg because she made huge advancements in protecting the rights of women and minorities
Harriet Tubman because she risked her life to save others and worked hard for what she believed was right
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: she is a pioneer who has always stood up for women's rights and human rights, i admire her because she keeps going even through all of the hardships of being a woman in a man dominated occupation.
Hermione Granger: she is a smart and brave women who is the most brilliant witch in all of Hogwarts and keeps being top of her class even though some people thinks she is annoying.
Megan thee Stallion: she is such a confident woman who doesn't take shade from anyone and is true to her self and is very brave and is a great rapper.
My swim coach Allie because she inspires me to push myself every day.
Lilly King because she is doing so well in swimming and inspires me to preserver.
Amelia Earhart because she broke so many barriers in aviation is is super inspiring.
AOC because of the way she strongly speaks out against injustices and
works toward equality despite the racism and sexism she experiences.
Maya Moore because she was an amazing basketball player who worked
really hard to get to a high level of competition and now has gone on
to be a successful lawyer.
My mom for many reasons but mostly for the way she loves and cares for
our family and how passionate she is about working towards justice.
Dorothy Day because of her radical and faithful witness to living a Christian life in the service of others.
Malala Yousefzai because she is a fearless and steadfast advocate for what she believes in, and inspires others to do the same.
Elizabeth Cady Staton because she refused to be limited by the small mindedness of others, becoming a writer, philosopher, theologian, public speaker, suffragette, mother, and community organizer.
My Mom because without her guidance and ability to connect with me throughout high school and college, I wouldn't have ended up where I am today.
Kristen Colberg because without her ability to make every class about Vatican II and Christian Anthropology interesting is the reason why I continued taking Theology classes.
Oregon Basketball Player Sedona Prince because of her way to engage with clear sexism in sports, specifically, the NCAA's handling of the Mens and Women's March Madness tournaments.
Fiona is a Junior Peer Minister at Saint Joan of Arc
As many of us know, less than a week ago, eight people were shot and killed in an anti-Asian hate crime in Atlanta, Georgia. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable are serving as the easiest targets for hate crimes: women, senior citizens, and employees working even during the pandemic. There has been a substantial uptick in anti-Asian racism following the pandemic, with many more violent hate crimes against Asian Americans. Unfortunately, this has been going on for centuries. According to Columbia News from Columbia University in New York, in 1871, eighteen Chinese residents in Los Angeles were killed by a white mob, resulting in one of America’s largest mass lynchings and destroying 10 percent of the Chinese population in L.A. at the time. Many of the hate crimes committed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been written off and not mentioned as an essential part of our history.
Why does this have anything to do with feminism? Many hate crimes against Asian American women are committed because they are seen only as exotic sex objects throughout history. The Page Act of 1875 was created and used to prevent Chinese women from entering the United States because they were prostitutes (whether they were or not). During wartime, members of the United States military have a track record of soliciting Asian sex workers and encouraging sex trafficking. The film and theater industries have also sexualized Asian women in Miss Saigon, Toll of the Sea, Full Metal Jacket, Madame Butterfly, and many more. Asian women are pictured in films as temptresses. According to an NPR interview, Asian women are depicted as forbidden, and they are viewed as physiologically different from white women and completely exoticized.
One core feminist belief is fighting for and empowering all women, regardless of race, sexual orientation, ability, or economic position. If someone cannot support that, they shouldn’t be called a feminist. When one group of women are getting sexualized, women must stand behind them and encourage them. Currently, Asian-American women are being harmed and killed because of their race. Women across the country and the globe have rallied behind them at protests and demonstrations. Feminists should be anti-racist to uphold the dignity of all women.
Tara is a sophomore at Roseville High School and is a second year Peer Minister at Saint Joan of Arc.
In the summer she's beauty, she's calm, her waters are clear and grand, her waves crash calmly on the shore, she likes it when people find joy in her waters, she likes how the many creatures that she holds swim happily together enjoying her warm and cold depths and she loves when you take a moment to listen and talk with her
But in the fall she is a force to be reckoned with for she is not calm she's angry she's angry that the cold is trying to silence her she's mad at all the beings of the earth for using her in polluting the earth that gives her life so she brings down all the things they've made but no one knows what drives her to take the ships she takes, she will leave some battered and bruised and others she takes to her watery grave never to be heard from again
Under the blanket of snow she sleeps quiet barely stirring she has given her best but she is tired ready to rest she wakes up sometimes but is lulled back to sleep by the bitter wind and sleeps in icy stone to hard for any ship to pass through but still weak enough to kill letting it be know that she still has anger and is a force to be reckoned with and making it known that no one can fully control her
In the spring she breaks out of her icy blanket ready for a new year she brings life to her long banks bringing out all the aspects of the nature that survives off of her, she is beauty and calmness but still is windy for she has harmony with the wind, she plays a game with the sun where they are battling for how warm her waters are, she is happy she likes to wake up from her hibernation and start the cycle all over again constantly stirring and bring life to the world around her providing for her sisters and brothers for she is the greatest lake in all the land always powerful and strong never letting anyone control her for she is Superior
Lili is a peer minister at Saint Joan of Arc and a Junior at Open World Learning School in Saint Paul.
The recent events, such as the attempted coup at the capital, are mind blowing for some people. But for kids my age, it doesn't seem that much different than any other week. This statement is not meant to say that these aren't important events. Many of us are horrified by what happened, and angered by the stark comparisons in police and public reactions to this summer's peaceful BLM protests. But we've lived through so many “where were you?” moments that we've almost become numb to them.
With the MANY police killings, the school shootings, and the pandemic shutting down schools and beloved activities, we've lived through what the adults like to tell us is “history.” It may sound cool that in 20 years we’ll be able to tell our kids that we've lived through what is in their history books. Right now it's exhausting.
It's scary to watch as so many injustices happen, but at the end of the day, we're still kids. We expected to be worried about who we're going to the prom with and what we got on our math tests, not if our democracy is going to fall apart and how much longer our planet is going to be habitable. So how do we cope with all of this?
This summer, when the weather was warm and we weren’t responsible for keeping our grades up, we were able to spend our time working toward justice by going to protests and doing community service. Now that it’s cold and we have to worry about our grades again, finding time for these kinds of things is harder and harder. While we want to be activists and fight for what we believe in, we already have to deal with typical high school struggles, and these events can be really saddening. Personally, when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed about these things, I try to throw myself into things that I can control like school work or athletics. Although this can be effective for a while, pushing away these feelings only lets the guilt build.
What does that guilt mean? That guilt is calling us to do more than we're doing, to find a balance between our desire for a “normal” highschool experience and the action we are called to take as a part of a greater community.
SJA Peer Ministers
Our Peer Ministers compiled a list of their favorite Christmas Treats. Try them out this Christmas Season!
Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter or margarine | 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar | 1tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour | 1/4tsp salt | 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly. Sift flour then mix with salt. Blend sugar mixture and flour mixture. Mix in nuts. Chill dough. Heat oven to 4oo. Roll dough into 1" balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 min or until set (but not brown). While still warm roll in confectioners sugar. Cool. Roll in sugar again!
No Bake Christmas Wreath Cookies
Magic Dream Bar Recipe
Grandma Fox's Ginger Cookies
Tess is a Sophomore at Visitation High School and a Second Year Peer Minister
On the 4th Thursday in November, people all around the country will be celebrating the annual holiday of Thanksgiving. In Greek, the word Thanksgiving means Eucharist. Not only do we eat the Eucharist at mass, but it also symbolizes the mystery and salvation of Christ in his Death and Resurrection being accomplished when we eat it.
The Eucharist and Thanksgiving are related not only by the exact meaning of the words, but also in their spiritual meaning. Eating the Eucharist symbolizes letting Jesus come into your body and if you let Him, your soul. Jesus died for us on the cross and eating His body and drinking His blood is a beautiful notion of thanks for what He’s done for us.
Thanksgiving dinner is a celebration that so many people around the US are blessed to be able to feast at! From the turkey and mashed potatoes to the cranberry sauce and hopefully pumpkin pie, thanksgiving is a time where people can express gratitude to one another and acknowledge the sacrifices people have done for each other. This year, my extended family is not gathering for a dinner feast but I am going to make sure I talk to them none-the-less to tell them how much I love them! Many of us haven’t seen extended family in quite some time and the zoom calls (especially from school) can seem even overused now. But thanking people for their sacrifices and love they have given you makes a huge deal. Just last week a friend of mine who I’m not even super close with but still know pretty well wrote me a quick card saying thank you to me for always giving her a piece of gum, and it made my whole day!!
Small tokens of gratitude to people are really noticed and especially this time of year it’s the perfect time to express them! Jesus died because He loved us so much so let us love others, and in that way, love Him in return.
Happy Thanksgiving and God bless!
Bridgid is a Senior at Hopkins High School and a four year Peer Minister
Wherever I go I always get asked the classic questions, “where do you go to school?” followed by, “what grade are you in?”. When I say I’m a senior, I always get the inevitable question, “what’s that like?”. It’s a fair question, this is a time that only the class of 2021 will hopefully ever experience. Last year's seniors lost their last three months but we haven’t had any months yet, and things are not looking up. But the question is really hard to answer because, let’s be honest, there’s a lot going on. Not only is there COVID-19, but we’re also addressing systemic racism, and dealing with our climate quickly deteriorating. Basically, we’re watching our world fall apart all around us and when we hear people tell us that we’re the future, it only adds to my generation’s notion that it’s up to us to fix all this.
There are definitely a lot of parts that suck and make me feel hopeless and really frustrated. Obviously, losing my senior year and all the traditions and privileges that come with it is a pretty big one for me. I have been looking forward to this year for twelve years now, and working really hard to get here. And in six months, everything I dreamed it would be is gone. We don’t get pep fests, football games, or have the teachers that we’ve been waiting to have. And we’re the only class that will probably never get a chance at prom, which I personally am not sad about but many of my friends are.
My friends and I don’t get to see each other as much as we would like because my school is all online so I don’t see them every day like I would normally, and when we do it’s mostly socially distant and outside which is getting harder the colder it gets. More importantly however, in these past few months, I’ve seen a lot happening around Minneapolis that is really shocking. Not only seeing the police brutality but also the lack of justice with the response to it was really upsetting and frustrating, especially when it continued to happen in other places around the country. However the retaliation from the people has been encouraging.
I’ve been hearing all over that this is a time for us to come together, and I have seen a lot of that recently. After the murder of George Floyd, I took part in the protests. Being with all those people and marching together is such an empowering experience. Everyone around you has the same goal and attitude that you do, and it feels so good to actually be taking action and being a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s especially awesome when it’s a youth led protest, like the many climate change marches, as well as the anti gun violence march, that I attended. It’s really inspiring to be a part of a generation that is really politically active and prone to taking action, even when most of us can’t even vote. That kind of persistence and determination is what allows us to stay adaptable and optimistic even when we have to do school over google meets.
We’re still finding ways to be together even when it can’t look like normal. Like my senior class did a ‘senior sunrise’ where we all gathered on the football field at 6:30am and watched the sunrise together. We also organized an outdoor drive-in movie night where the whole school could come and watch together. And we’re trying to do that again but instead of a movie, we broadcast the football games so we can still watch them together. Because that’s “what it’s like”, there are a lot of things that make me really sad, but by choosing to focus on the good and the things I do have, I feel hopeful instead of defeated.
Our youth at SJA have amazing things to say. Our goal is to give them a platform to share their thoughts on topics they want to talk about. Their thoughts are uniquely theirs. From politics to faith, school issues to our church, this blog shares their voices with our community.