Campus Spiritual Life
Ville de Marie Academy offers religious instruction and spiritual guidance in accordance with the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, and is involved in the complete formation of the child at the school, while recognizing the parents as the primary educators. Adherence to the Catholic faith, fidelity to the Pope, love of the Holy Eucharist, and devotion to the Blessed Mother make up the foundation of the school's spiritual life. Both Ville de Marie Academy's curricular and extra-curricular activities contribute to the faith formation of its students.
The Catholic Faith is not merely a subject to be studied and mastered. Students are taught to integrate their faith into every facet of their lives in order to assume an apostolic role in the world. Opportunities are provided for students to grow in their knowledge, love and service to Our Lord in a number of different ways:
Ville de Marie Academy utilizes the Faith and Life series from Ignatius Press in its grammar school. It was the first series submitted to the U.S. bishops for approval and recognition of being in conformity with the Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism is also used in grades 1-6. The High School theology classes are directly structured around the Holy Scriptures and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, with additional readings from Papal Encyclicals, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and various spiritual classics. The Didache Series from Midwest Theological Forum, which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has found to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is also utilized in the high school.
Students develop the habit of daily prayer starting in Kindergarten, where they learn the Our Father in Latin. Students begin and end each day at Ville de Marie Academy with prayer. Morning Prayers (and usually Holy Mass) are said in the chapel before the school day begins. Before lunch, Grace before Meals and the Angelus is prayed. There are many other opportunities for the students to engage in prayer throughout the day, such as prayers before tests and at the beginning of each period. See the School Prayer section for more information.
The Holy Mass is vital to the every existence of Ville de Marie Academy. The entire student body comes together several times a week to celebrate Mass. See our School Calendar for more detailed information.
Ville de Marie Academy offers frequent opportunities for Confession, during school, for both staff and students. See the School Calendar for more detailed information.
Holy Days of Obligation
Canon 1247: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass; they are also to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body".
In order to honor the holy days of obligation, Ville de Marie Academy dispenses school attendance on these days and encourages proper adherence to the directives of the Church.
At least once a month, generally on First Fridays, the students and staff are given an opportunity to attend a Holy Hour of Adoration together for the intention of the school and her students and families. All Ville de Marie Academy families are invited to join. Check the School Calendar for more detailed information.
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
"I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments, My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."-----Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
Ville de Marie Academy offers a school Mass every First Friday (as well as the other Fridays in the month) and Confession within the octave of the First Friday in order to provide the opportunity for the staff and students to fulfill the obligations regarding the First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The May Crowning of our Blessed Mother takes place at Ville de Marie Academy during the month of May. The service includes a procession around the school with the statue of our Lady of Fatima, a communal rosary lead by most of the grades, followed by Holy Mass. In the Chapel, each grade has the opportunity to lay roses at our Lady’s feet, and the youngest student generally has the privilege of crowning her. This is one of the most important spiritual events for the students every year.
Sacramental Preparation for First Confession and First Holy Communion
Students are prepared for reception of First Confession and First Holy Communion that takes place in May, during Second Grade.
Youth Militia Immaculata (aka YMI)
Many of our Upper School students are members of YMI group. The Militia Immaculata holds informal, weekly meetings that begin with the Holy Rosary and end with Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In between are discussion sessions, as well as breaks for snacks and socializing. Christian service projects are often planned at these meetings.
The Legion of Mary Youth Group
Many of our younger students meet once a week after school at Ville de Marie Academy. The Legion of Mary, begun by Frank Duff in Dublin, Ireland in 1921, is an international Catholic organization of laity engaged in Christian service. Only students attending Ville de Marie Academy participate in this school group of the Legion. The Legio Mariae Handbook guides the youth group leaders and recommends a mixture of amusement, technical instruction, and religion for the meetings. The Legionaries who conduct the Ville de Marie youth group strive to make the meeting both fun and educational. An opportunity for socializing and snacks is followed by spiritual reflections and the Holy Rosary.
Oath of Fidelity
If a teacher does not possess an understanding of the Catholic Faith, he or she cannot teach it. If the teacher does not live in a committed manner, his or her words are unconvincing. Therefore, Ville de Marie Academy teachers take an Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church on an annual basis.
Retreats and Spiritual Enrichment
Every year students, staff, and parents have the opportunity for a short retreat. A staff retreat is scheduled annually before the beginning of each school year, and a limited number of space is also available for any VdM parents who would like to join us. Besides the opportunity for spiritual reflection and rest from their busy schedules, these guided retreats serve to build community and unite the faculty, staff, and parents together in a common vision and purpose for the coming school year.
Our Lady of Fatima Weekly Drawing
Each week a drawing is held by students and staff, and a different VdM family is selected to take home our statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Families are encouraged to pray the accompanying prayers together each evening to foster devotion to Our Lady and to offer intentions for the welfare of Ville de Marie Academy and everyone associated with the school.
Spiritual Enrichment for the Whole Family
Each week the life of a different saint is highlighted in our family newsletter.
Spiritual Enrichment Talks to the Students and Parents
Throughout the year, speakers come to the school to speak on various topics to the student body. In the evening, parents are invited to a talk relating to the subject matter for adults.
St. Joseph's Day
The entire student body attends Holy Mass and a celebration for St. Joseph takes place with various activities. A Novena to St. Joseph by the staff, students and families is prayed nine days before the feast day.
Virtue of the Month (K-8)
A different virtue is highlighted every month in the classroom. Teachers look for the monthly virtue to be practiced amongst the students.