Ready, Set, HOCO!

Kristin Welch ‘22 and Ellie Millerbernd ‘22 pose in their Vikings attire on Packers vs. Vikings Day.

Student-voted lunch menus, less homework, fun dress up days, special events during school, and more, homecoming week is always a joyful part of the semester! Teachers and staff at PA, along with the Student Council, put in a lot of effort so that this week is one to remember. If you were at Providence leading up to Friday’s game on October 11, you may have seen Packers vs. Vikings, Mathletes vs. Athletes, or other spirit wear in the hallways. 

“I enjoy the out of uniform days we have because it allows us to have freedom in our clothing choice and to see our classmates’ sense of style”, noted Emma Speier ’22. She continued, “This year, I thought that Mathlete vs. Athlete was a fun theme because we were able to show our interests outside of school,”  

Students look forward to having the freedom of shoe and shirt choice throughout the week but they aren’t the only ones who join in on the festivities. Teachers were also in on the dress up days. Some of this year’s highlights were Mrs. Claypool and Mr. Bissonette, both dressed as Paul Bunyan during Middle School’s “dress like a state day”, and Mr. Hester dressing as a student in a uniform during the Upper School’s full out of uniform day.

Mrs. Claypool and Mr. Bissonette show off their Paul Bunyan costumes during the Middle School “dress like a state” day.

Not only are there fun events going on from 8 to 4, but evening activities are also a hit. From volleyball to soccer to powderpuff, and the football game on Friday to close out the sporting events of the week, students show up with lots of energy to cheer each other on! “I love going to the spirit games at night because there’s always a supportive student section present to cheer their classmates on”, Ava Wasserman ‘22 reflects.

The powderpuff game on Wednesday night drew fans in to watch the senior girls take on the junior girls; this year’s seniors pulled the win. Thursday night, volleyball beat Breck, a particularly sweet victory for Kate Neill ‘20, who made her 1,000th kill, and set a new school record. 

Friday’s pep fest closed out the week, and effectively pumped up school spirit in preparation for the football game against Richfield. Some of this years highlights for the pep fest were “The Heathers Dance” by the history department, many games of tug of war, and a relay between 5th graders. “I look forward to the pep fest every year because it is fun to compete against teachers and classmates, and to show some school spirit”, Liam Carney ‘22 says.

The teachers compete against the PA football team in a game of Tug of War.

Speier says, “After school on Friday, everyone goes home to prepare for the fun weekend ahead – the football game and the dance are always highlights of the week”. After school ended on Friday, students went home to gear up in their togas and white and gold clothes for the football game, looking forward to the dance to follow on Saturday, all centered around our Romecoming theme!

A Sweet Visit: Monsignor Odong returns to PA

Monsignor Odong visited Providence Academy last week, coming to show his gratitude for our assistance funding his school in Uganda and solicit ongoing support. The school, named Archbishop Flynn Secondary School after our own Archbishop Flynn who has recently passed away, is entering its 11th year serving the communities surrounding Pader, Uganda.

Hope for Uganda is a foundation “to bring hope to the people of northern Uganda through faith, education, health, and sustainability”.

Just 10 years ago, the opening of the Archbishop Flynn Secondary School allowed students in Uganda access to private education. Here, they could grow in academics, as well as but in their faith, knowledge, and virtue. According to Monsignor Odong, the people in Uganda always had a goal of being able to create a school similar in values to Providence Academy, a school where students could grow not only in basic skills such as math and writing, but have opportunities to develop their faith and leadership. Support from Providence and many others here in Minnesota, made it possible for Monsignor to make this dream a reality and fulfill this part of his priestly calling. 

So much support was shown from the Minneapolis area that the school was named after our own archbishop. Archbishop Flynn showed his generosity when he supported Uganda and gathered the Christian community in Minneapolis, because he wanted to be able to help create a school in Uganda for the children and families there, living in poverty as a result of the war. Archbishop Flynn is a man well-known for his compassion and generosity towards others.

Monsignor Odong reflected on the life of Archbishop Flynn saying, “He was a man who cared so much about the people around him, and always wanted to support us, all the way in Uganda. He made it a priority to ensure that the kids in Uganda had a good Catholic education”.

PA Chaplain Father Michael McClellan echoed his sentiments, saying, “Any encounter I ever had with Flynn always left me with a good impression. I got to know him when I was in seminary, and will always remember him for his personal holiness, his kindness, and as a fine example of a Christian gentleman”.

Sophia Menzel ’22, Ava Wasserman ’22, Ellie Wasserman ’22, Anna Heaney ’22, and Olivia Menzel ’22 pose with Monsignor Odong in 2017.
The yearly visits from Monsignor have fostered ongoing relationships with the PA student body; here the same girls from 2017 pose for another photo opportunity this year.

Now a tradition at Providence, students look forward to a visit from ‘the ice cream man’ each year. Monsignor Odong became known as the ice cream man because of his famous “Ice Cream Song” enjoyed by lower, middle and upper schoolers alike. 

“I always enjoy coming to Providence Academy to visit the students because I am shown what a good community is here, and how much support Uganda has” Odong remarked.  He concluded, “Even if I were to die tomorrow, I know that the people of Uganda are supported by the people of Minnesota”.


Girls’ Varsity Soccer Plays Close Game Against Maranatha

Girls soccer looked poised for a win last Saturday, September 14 against Maranatha. Their tight defense, strong offense, and their unity as a team kept them in contention during a close match up with the Mustangs, but both teams walked away from the tie game (1-1) without a “W.”

Maranatha scored their only goal of the game towards the beginning, making the score 1-0. Mary Rillens Lee ‘22 reflects, “That first goal scared us a little bit; we knew we would have to step up our game to keep it close.”  

PA fans would have to wait until the second half when Sam Fritz ‘20, scored the lone goal for the Lions, tying the game 1-1! The “W” now seemed within reach for PA and they continued to battle. 

Eleanor Young, ‘22, throws the ball back into the game.

Bridget Healy ‘23 noted, “Our transition between offense and defense was great, which helped to keep us in the game.”  But even so, after a double overtime and no goals scored, the game ended in a tie.

Lee states, “Without teamwork and a positive attitude, we wouldn’t stand a chance against other teams.” Eleanor Young ‘22 also adds, “We always go into the locker room before games and hype each other up. We blast music and cheer each other on.”

Young reflected, “We had to keep a good attitude. If one person has a bad attitude towards the team, we will not play well because we don’t play together.” 

Healy was disappointed with the outcome, but not discouraged for her team. She says, “I feel like we played a good game and we never gave up, which helped us.” Healy also says, “It’s all about the teamwork. Our positive attitude always helps us, because if we go into it thinking we don’t have a chance, we really won’t.”

Mary Rillens Lee, ‘22, rids herself of the ball under pressure, finding open teammates nearby.

“This game was intense. We constantly went back and forth, and the win could have been either of ours,” Lee added. “We never gave up, which helped us keep it a close game.”

Young says, “I think the game went pretty well, we all united as a team and worked together. We were good at staying connected together on defense and sending the ball up the field to get shots on goal.”

The Lions are continuing to work hard to finish their season with a bang! They are getting ready to play St. Anthony Village tonight. Lee and Healy agree, saying, “We must never give up, always work together, and cheer each other on. We all make mistakes, but we need to push through them to continue our success.”