Spirituality in Action
Aquinas Academy students begin each day with morning prayers led by the students themselves. In addition to morning prayers and the Religion curriculum, students lead active, prayerful lives in a variety of ways. During October and May, students take part in rosary activities. Each class is also responsible for leading one First Friday liturgy in church. Third graders, for example, traditionally take part in the All Saints Mass in November. Second graders are responsible for May Crowning after they have received First Holy Communion in the spring. During Lent, all students also take active roles in weekly Stations of the Cross prayers. In December, all Kindergarten Prep through Grade 8 students participate in our always-anticipated Christmas concert. Beginning in fourth grade, students may volunteer as altar servers for weekend Masses at St. Philomena Church.
One of Aquinas Academy’s favorite traditions is its Church Buddy program. Younger children are paired with older students for the year. These Church Buddy pairs attend Masses together and take part in a variety of other activities throughout the school year. Younger students like the attention from the older students, and older students develop a sense of responsibility for their buddies.
Throughout the year, Aquinas Academy students take part in community outreach programs to support those less fortunate. Students participate in clothing drives for the Lupus Foundation of America and Pajama Day for the Children’s Leukemia Fund. Dress-down days have raised funds for natural disaster relief after the Japanese and Haitian earthquakes, Hurricane Katrina, and Superstorm Sandy. In partnership with other Livingston houses of worship and the Livingston Public School system, Aquinas Academy has actively participated in the local Stuff-the-Bus food collection program. Aquinas Academy’s Kiwanis Builders Club regularly assists at the St. John’s Soup Kitchen and has sorted food at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.