Nearly 100 fourth-through-eighth-grade students from St. Malachy School in Chicago visited Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest Friday, Jan. 29, for a day of events including an uplifting gospel liturgy, pizza lunch, talent show and a carnival. This year’s celebration marked the 20th anniversary of a Black History Month tradition (usually held in February) that’s become a very special experience for students of the inner-city grade school and the North Shore all-girls college prep high school.
As she opened the liturgy, which featured music from the joyful voices of students in the St. Malachy Gospel Choir, Woodlands Academy senior Molly Carmody of Lake Bluff praised the strong bond between the two schools that makes it possible for their students to share so many experiences and learn so much from each other.
“Let us pray that we, the students of St. Malachy and Woodlands Academy, bound together in our lively friendship, are able to help other people find ways to develop similar friendships,” Carmody said.
The service concluded with students, faculty and staff from both schools joining together in singing a rousing rendition of “We Are Called.”
St. Malachy students then enjoyed a pizza lunch organized by Woodlands Academy’s international students. Other highlights included a talent show with students from both schools performing, a carnival featuring a variety of events, and ceramics and bracelet-making activities.
“What a treasure it is to have the students from both schools lead one another to a world of greater understanding, love and vision,” said Mary Gramins, Theology Department chair/Campus Ministry coordinator at Woodlands Academy.
The school’s Campus Ministry Team, Social Justice classes and Baking Club joined with the international students to make this year’s celebration possible in the true spirit of “a social awareness which impels to action” (Sacred Heart Schools’ Goal III)