As I walked through the main hallway earlier today, on my left, I noticed our Chapel filled with students wrapped in prayer and to my right in the darkened Great Hall, a prayer labyrinth was illuminated by candlelight. There are particular times throughout the year when the gifts of our Benilde-St. Margaret’s community shine brightly, and today clearly marked one of those days. This is how some of our students describe the gift of their BSM education.
November is an interesting time of the year at BSM. Generally, we are bracing for the approach of winter as daylight recedes. Demanding fall athletic and activity seasons are coming to a close. Twelve weeks of academic endeavors have helped our students grow in many ways, and Mass, prayer, and retreats have all become part of the school year.
In June of each year, final exams and graduation ceremonies mark the end of the academic program and co-curricular activities. The halls are less traveled but in reality, a flurry of activity still takes place in the weeks between the end and the new beginning. This summer has been even more active with the number of participants in summer programming along with a significant construction project.
“There is just something different here.” That phrase has continually jumped out at me over the past few months at Benilde-St. Margaret’s. We have been hosting events for families designed to help them learn about our school as they consider enrollment. Last month, our team officially welcomed a large number of new parents that will be joining us in the fall.
“There is literally something for everyone here. Think about it, we have a club devoted to the show Survivor," Jake says. Sarah adds: “That is one of the main reasons why we build a real sense of community at BSM.” Later in the conversation Anna suggests, “we should find ways to offer more language immersion experiences for the students.” These are actual comments from a few of our seniors at Benilde-St.
The history of Benilde-St. Margaret’s School is often focused on the creation of two distinct schools – St. Margaret’s Academy and Benilde High School. The story further develops around the movement to save Benilde High School and the eventual closing of both St. Margare'ts Academy and Benilde High School so that a new school, Benilde-St. Margaret's could be formed.
Since 1974, for one week in the middle of winter, Catholic Schools and their communities across the United States have celebrated Catholic Schools Week. The intent is to laud the entirety of our Catholic Schools, specifically how they impact both the individual and greater society. At Benilde-St. Margaret’s, this week has been filled with celebrations of our unique community. Our students acknowledged our parents with car-side service of coffee and donuts.
November and December are the months of the year that bring Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas in rapid succession. The number of family get-togethers is unmatched during this time of year, and each has its own traditions. Games, feasts, prayers, conversations, and shopping seem to be mainstays in many households.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s School offers our students a challenging college preparatory curriculum that guides each individual toward his/her “highest potential in body, spirit and mind." In that light, each fall our students and families focus on future college and university choices. A vast majority of our seniors prepare college applications to meet the national November 1 deadline. Many others, at various grade levels, visit college campuses.