History of Ash Wednesday & Easter Preparations

Coming up on Wednesday, February 18th we will be having an Ash Wednesday Mass. As Easter is quickly approaching, it seemed fitting to remind everyone about the history of Ash Wednesday in preparation for Easter.

JSerra CHS Blog_Ash Wednesday & Easter Preparations

Before Ash Wednesday begins, there is a celebration of Fat Tuesday. Here at JSerra, these festivities will be on Feb. 17th. This is a time that marks the day of feasting before the fasting season of Lent begins.

JSerra CHS Blog_Ash Wednesday & Easter Preparations JSerra CHS Blog_Ash Wednesday & Easter Preparations

Ash Wednesday is the name given to the first day of the season of Lent and starts the beginning of the 40-day fasting period and abstinence. It is there that a priest applies ashes to the foreheads of individuals to indicate an inner repentance. Those who participate are invited to the alter to receive the imposition of remnants before receiving the Holy Supper. The Lenten period lasts for approximately six weeks. It begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Holy Saturday, which is the Saturday before Easter.

JSerra CHS Blog_Ash Wednesday & Easter Preparations

Although Easter may be associated with the Easter Bunny, the true meaning behind the Easter celebration has much more meaning. This is the day that Jesus rose from the dead. We are all actually celebrating His death for our sins and His resurrection. Many people often call Easter, Resurrection Sunday, because that is exactly what it is.

What will you give up for Lent this season?

JSerra CHS Blog_Ash Wednesday & Easter Preparations

JSerra Blog: New Year, New Year Resolutions for Students & Parents

A new year filled with new resolutions. For many graduating high school students and parents 2015 will be a year full of change. It’s an exciting time of choosing which universities to attend in fall and parents figure out where they will be sending their children. On the brink of so many changes, it is important to start the year off right and set New Year Resolutions that will make 2015 a year of success!

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Here are some great ideas for New Year resolutions for both students and parents:

  • Stop procrastinating. As a student and a parent, it is important to give yourself the appropriate amount of time needed to get the job done and to give the best effort you can.
  • Don’t do it all. You are a high school student with a hectic schedule and a million things to do. You may want to do everything with everyone, instead concentrate on a handful of things and excel at them.
  • Commit to keeping a calendar. With another busy year ahead, both students and parents should make use of a calendar planner to keep track of appointments, classes, sport practices and games to stay on top of everything and meet all deadlines.
  • Try something new. High school is the perfect time to spread your wings and branch out from what you are used to. Join a new club, make new friends or go on new adventures. This is the time to find what you like and dislike, so stray from your comfort zone and get out there!

JSerra CHS Blog_New Year Resolutions

Make a resolution and stick with it! Happy 2015 Lions!

Lion Pride!

Christmas Break Reflection: What are you most grateful for?

“It is not happy people who are grateful. It is grateful people who are happy.” Christmas break is here! From loving friends and family to a wonderful education to amazing extracurricular opportunities, Christmas is the perfect time to take a moment to reflect on the breathtaking life moments we are given and spend time with your loved ones.

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As you’re on Christmas break, take the time away from school to relax and enjoy the time you have to spend with your family and friends. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. As students, you have so many things going on that it’s easy to forget about the people and things that you have been blessed with. As parents, there are countless details of life to focus on, whether it’s work-life, home-life, or your students’ lives. Be sure to take a moment to tell loved ones how grateful you are to have them in your life!

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It is important to remember the reason for the day. Take advantage of a break away from your hectic schedule to think of all of the things you have to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for Lions?

Lion Pride

Bishop Vann Celebrates at JSerra’s End-of-the-Year Mass

photo-29 copy 2“We are delighted that the Bishop of Orange, Kevin Vann, has visited our Catholic School to address the students, faculty and administration. During his stay he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and blessed our new altar and retablo to be used for our weekly, all school Masses,” said JSerra Chairman, Tim Busch.

Following the Mass, Bishop Vann walked through campus and heard more about our students, our accomplishments and the history of JSerra.
A special thank you to Bishop Vann and the Busch family for their generous donation of the retablo and altar. 
For photos from Mass please click here.

Bishop Vann Visits with JSerra Students On-campus

IMG_7027After a class project turned to a real-life experience, the students in Carmen Ribera’s religion class had a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Bishop Kevin Vann.

As part of the coursework in Ribera’s religion class the students were required to research Bishop Vann, who was appointed in 2012, and write him a letter inquiring about various facets of his journey to become a Bishop.

“I told the students we would send Bishop Vann their letters, thinking I would perhaps get a kind note back,” said Ribera. “To my surprise I received a phone call saying that he would like to come visit, I was blown away.”

A few weeks later Bishop Vann arrived on-campus and shared his life’s journey to eventually being appointed a Bishop. Reading from the letters the students sent him, he answered some questions they had submitted from their project.

Student (SQ): What has changed in your everyday life since becoming a Bishop?

Bishop Vann (BV): I think the biggest change has actually been learning to live in different areas. You have to be able to adapt to your surroundings, which can be challenging at times.

SQ: How did you design your coat of arms?

BV: Well each coat of arms is to be specific to each Bishop to express who you are. For mine I choose a blue crest to symbolize Mary, a French cross to symbolize reform, and two keys to symbolize the kingdom of heaven.

SQ: As a Bishop you are at the third level of the holy order, what’s the responsibility like?

BV: There are 1.3 million Catholics in California, a much bigger number then I have had in the past, however I try to not think about it and take it all one day at a time.

SQ: How did you get into your vocation?

BV: I came from a big family that had to sacrifice many things in order for us to attend Catholic schools growing up, which taught me how important it is to have a faith-filled educational background. This to me, translated into the importance of having a real relationship with Christ in my everyday life. I earned a degree in science and worked for a period of time before seeing more and more that Christ is in everything and that is when I joined the church.

SQ: What is one piece of advice you could give to help strengthen your relationship with God?

BV: You have to talk to God, and spend time together investing in your relationship. It is the same as if it were with a friend or spouse.

JSerra Adopts a Marine Family

Adopt a Marine Family  this Christmas. 
Several years ago the JSerra family began to acknowledge the debt owed to the men and women of the Armed Forces many of whose families are alone at Christmas and often in need. We didn’t have far to look to see our neighbors south of us at Camp Pendleton. Each year there are families on that base who celebrate without one parent present or with the knowledge that either dad or mom will be leaving soon.

There are approximately 1,200 Marines and Sailors in the unit, about 600 of them are married. There are about 500 children in the battalion and the majority of them are under 10 years of age. We have had a great number of newborns recently as well. All of the Marines and Sailors will be home for Christmas, but will have a deployment leaving out again right after the New Year.

Some of these families live below the poverty line and barely subsist. In addition to the financial strain these young families must deal with the anxiety and loss they suffer with separation during training and deployments.

The JSerra Family has in the past recognized and honored these men and women who serve us with helping to provide a better Christmas for their families.

We are given a fictional name for each family a real description of their status and the names, age and sizes of all members of the family. JSerra families bring Christmas dinner and presents to each military family. The dinner includes a gift certificate for perishable items and staples that will carry the family well beyond Christmas morning (bags of rice, bags of beans, flour, sugar and can goods).

JSerra invites you to join in the effort either as a single family, a class or multiple families bringing Christmas to a Marine family. You will enjoy each and every moment of being part of this selfless activity.

Please contact Bridget Desmond if you are interested in participating. bdesmond@jserra.org