On Friday, Sept. 9, the community came together to celebrate our multicultural makeup during the annual Flag Ceremony and Liturgy of the Holy Spirit.
“One of the blessings that we have at Woodlands Academy is the richness of our cultural diversity,” Global Education Director Amy Perlick said at the beginning of the Mass. “This is one of the many forms of diversity which Sacred Heart schools seek and cherish. For as our knowledge and experience of new cultures and peoples expand and deepen, we come to more fully understand ourselves, our world and our global interconnectedness.”
The flags of 16 nations, which will remain in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart during the entire school year, are a proud visualization of the breadth of Woodlands Academy’s cultural diversity. They represent nations in its community where either a student or staff member was born or where they hold dual citizenship.
Senior Hillary Gong of China, head of the school’s Resident Advisory Council, led the flag procession into the chapel, carrying the Woodlands Academy flag, followed by flags from: Austria, Belize, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Croatia, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Serbia, South Korea and the United States of America.
Students and staff from 11 countries also offered prayers in their native language.
“This is very much the educational vision of Sacred Heart Schools, as articulated by the foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, who said ‘To influence our world we must understand it,’” Perlick added.
The new pastor at Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest, The Rev. Mike Nacius, presided over the Mass and commissioned student Eucharistic ministers for the 2016-17 school year: seniors Elizabeth Bartusiak, Ryan Kandziora and Meaghan Lanctot of Lake Forest; Caylee Hamilton of Wadsworth; Karlye Keller of Lake Bluff (Captain); Mia Oberto of Zion; Mamie Oelerich and Katelyn Soto of Chicago; Angela Wang of China; and Teagan Wilkens and Ashley Zarinana of Waukegan.
View the Facebook live feed from the event.