It may be hard to believe, but almost three quarters of the first semester has passed and we’re well on our way to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thus far this school year, we have experienced many blessings as well as a few challenges, which call us to reflect and grow as a community.
Throughout the first semester, we have celebrated most of our grade-level activities. On the surface it may seem that these activities are solely designed to promote class unity, and that is partly their purpose. However, at a deeper level, each of these special days has one common denominator – family.
The Sixth Grade Lock-In provides an opportunity for our boys to initiate a relationship with their Belen brothers – a brotherhood that will likely extend far beyond our students’ years at Belen and beyond the walls of our school building. Family Day gives our students, their siblings and parents the grace to play together and serve the needy together as they partake of games and make sandwiches for the poor. Grandparents’ Day allows our boys to appreciate their unique family history - the roots from which they come and the sacrifices that have been made to help them reach their goals today and in the future. Father and Son Day enriches the special bond between a boy and his dad, while Mother and Son Day creates memories that will likely be cherished for years to come. Both of these events are preludes to the culminating activities that our families experience Senior Year when our boys, now reaching manhood, receive their Belen rings alongside their fathers during Senior Ring Mass, and escort their mothers to honor our Blessed Mother during the Baccalaureate Mass.
So why so much emphasis on family? It is because the family is often threatened and attacked in our society, rather than valued and prioritized. We are so bombarded by pressures and distractions in our daily lives that we forget to enjoy each other’s company, to sit at the dinner table and share a meal together and talk about our day, to pray together, to worship together.
Pope Francis states, “We cannot call any society healthy when it does not leave real room for family life. Perfect families do not exist. This must not discourage us. Quite the opposite. Love is something we learn; love is something we live; love grows as it is forged by the concrete situations which each particular family experiences. Love is born and constantly develops amid lights and shadows.” The Belen family strives to support and strengthen each one of our individual families as we journey through these lights and shadows. May God continue to bless our mission and each and every one of our families.
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain. The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline. In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty. The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow. Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.