Queen of Heaven, Pray for Us!

Second graders Henry Hilburg and Whitney Whitaker crown Mary at the end of school Friday after praying a living rosary.

“Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing. You reign now in Heaven with Jesus our King. Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!” Marian hymns filled  the main entryway last Friday afternoon as lower school students and faculty gathered at the statue of Mary for the annual devotional practice of placing flowers at her feet and crowning her with roses.

Of course, we celebrate our Mothers the second Sunday in May, but we fittingly begin the month here at PA by honoring the Blessed Mother.  Father McClellan, Providence Academy chaplain expounded upon the purpose of crowning Our Lady, “God’s glory is magnified in Mary; she, through her son, shows us God’s beauty and wonder.  We have an occasion, as we venerate her, to meditate on God our creator and our cooperation with Him in our ‘yes’.”

Flowers adorn Our Lady in the PA entryway.

1st grade teacher, Robyn Steinbrueck commented on the significance on directing our focus towards the Blessed Mother, “It is important that we continue the tradition of crowning Mary which has been done in the Church for so many years; children need to see the beautiful practices of devotion in the Church.” Fr. McClellan echoed “We are happy to participate in this beloved and ancient tradition here at PA, to venerate Our Lady with our brothers and sisters around the globe.”  Fr. McClellan shared, “There are many Marian devotions dating back to the early 4th century. There are churches in Rome dedicated to her, beautiful antiquities used to venerate her, the rosary itself invites us to look at the Cross when Christ said “Behold, your Mother.”

At a time when everything is coming to life, it is fitting to adorn an image Mary, bearer of life abundant, with flowers.  “Floral decorations are, relatively speaking, a newer practice in the church,” noted Fr. McClellan.  The practice has become popularized in the last 200 years. Fr. McClellan continued, “it touches on the central aspect of Christ’s coming into the world and Mary’s soul being magnified with the Lord.”

May Crowning grants us an opportunity to unify ourselves in the presence of our Lady, the Queen of Heaven, as she welcomes us with open arms, receives our fragrant offering, and invites us to seek the light of Christ through her.


House Blend: talent showcase delights audience at Spring coffeehouse


Isabella Igbanugo ’19 and Katherine Prom ’19 get ready to sing with their group ‘The Mama and the Mias.’

Even if you were drinking decaf, the atmosphere at this spring’s coffeehouse was enough to get you energized.  That’s right… you heard it:  last Friday night’s coffeehouse had coffee!  Solos, duets, group numbers, and dancing, kept your feet moving from start to finish last Friday night in the Great Room.


Coffeehouse at PA has been a great semi-annual tradition over the past few years. It’s a great time to sit back, relax and enjoy watching students pour their talents on stage.  This spring, upper school students delighted the audience with 12 acts and those in attendance enjoyed a new–but not altogether surprising element–of the evening’s line ups:  coffee!  The addition was not lost on Angelina Rossini ‘19, who remarked  “I love coffeehouse! I also like the added addition of coffee this year.”

Coffee was the big surprise and newest addition added to this year’s and future coffeehouses!

Now, the highlight is still–of course–the performances.  Madisen Herman ’19 stated, “Coffeehouse is very entertaining; it’s a different kind of performance than what we’re used to doing, as we don’t get to do talent shows very often.”  Val Fish 21″ shared Herman’s sentiments, “I think what makes coffeehouse unique is that it shows a different side of students; a fun side and it allows us to appreciate their talents.”

The lineup included rookies, like Fish, who performed her own song, The Rejection Letter”.  Fish reflected on preparing for her performance, “I was kind of nervous at first but I was also very excited.” Others, like Madeline Young ‘20, were no stranger to the stage.  Young performed a duet with William Wehmann ‘22 “Only Usand another duet with Isabella Igbanugo “For Good.”  Her fifth time performing in coffeehouse, Young shared, “I enjoy hearing everyone else perform as much as I enjoy being able to sing in front of everyone.”

A group of senior girls decided coffeehouse gave them the perfect platform for a memory they’re sure to carry with them for years.  Grace Johnson ‘19 performed with five other students as Mamma and the Mias’ with the song ‘Super Trouper’ with Katherine Prom ‘19, Gabby Munger ‘19, Clara McMillan ‘19, Gianna Bruno ‘19 and Isabella Igbanugo ‘19. Johnson noted, “it was my first time performing and it was very fun! My group went last and the crowd cheered for us to do an encore which was so rewarding after all our work.”

With many veteran performers off to bigger stages, we’re looking forward to more up and coming talent in next fall’s coffeehouse.

Spring Into Fun

At Spring Break Camp, students have fun making creations out of toothpicks and gummys.

No plans for you or your child’s Spring Break? Are you stuck in this cold, treacherous tundra? No problem! You can find “spring break” at PA.  All lower school students have the opportunity to spend a week at Spring break camp for a week of endless games and fun!

While many students may be on vacation experiencing the Great Outdoors, the fun won’t have to stop if

Lower school students enjoy crafts at last year’s camp.

you’re stuck at home. PA is still open during break, hosting the tenth annual lower School Spring Break Camp, coordinated by the Lower School Principal, Nancy Galgano. She notes “A lot of parents needed help with childcare since Spring Break is two weeks long and and many can’t take time off of work, so we decided to create a safe, fun space for children to come to.” 

“It’s always important to have children stay active and be healthy especially over what can be a long break”, Galgano notes. PA contracts with outside agencies like Skyhawks sports camp to stay in motion for half the day; during the other half, students have the opportunity to work with PA staff on art projects, academic work, and other skills classes such as engineering or other enrichment activities. Students will also get to enjoy jumping around at Sky Zone on one of the days!

Students working collaboratively at last year’s day camp during Spring Break.

The Camp will be running from March 18-22, the first week of spring break and has become so popular there is a waitlist the majority of the time.  This camp is not only a good opportunity for lower schoolers to have fun, but it also can be a great chance for upper schoolers to volunteer their time over break. Any upper schoolers are interested in volunteering at the camp, please contact Mrs. Galgano or Mrs. Laurie Wachholz, one of the Pre-K teachers for more information.

Over Half a Century Later, King’s Words Still Echo

Dr. Martin Luther King mentions “I have a Dream” at least eight times in his speech which is very significant as he addressed the problem of racial segregation.

“I have a dream…” the famous words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963 still impacts humanity as we pause in annual remembrance of this civil rights martyr.  PA has MLK day off to commemorate this federal holiday.

Pre-Kindergartener Stella, has a dream that “everyone would be thankful for the things they have in life.”

Born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, King was a predominant social activist, protestant minister, and leader of the civil rights movement. Two hundred fifty thousand gathered in Washington, D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial to join the crusade by marching on Washington and hearing his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  His words reawakened the American conscience to the importance of equality and freedom among men of every race and creed.

Dr. Arthur Hippler, Chairman of the Religion Department talks in PA moral theology classes about the importance of King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. King was originally imprisoned for underpayment of his taxes and wrote the letter during the Easter season, responding to objections from local clergymen. They were criticizing him for breaking the law and King wanted to convince the Rabbi, Episcopalians and the catholic bishop to develop different ways of thinking.

“I really appreciate the [letter from] Birmingham Jail as it has real substance to it and it explains thoroughly our rights and duties given by God. It is also something that is often ignored or people don’t hear about it. King gives value to our human dignity and he ensures that people regardless of color can protect and respect each other,” Hippler stated.

Pre-Kindergartener Annaliese says she has a dream that “everyone will be able to have food and water.”

He also noted, “In his letter he [drew] freely from Plato and Socrates as they were great thinkers. King sought common tradition as a great treasure trove of human thinking, destiny, fairness and dignity.”

King also organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott which was a protest against segregation on public transport. “Boycotts are used to influence behavior in positive ways as it mobilizes public opinion and exercises economic pressure in a society,” Hippler added.

It’s not just upper school students who learn to appreciate King in PA classrooms.  Lower school students made art projects of Dr. King and shared some of the things they were grateful for. Annaliese, a pre- kindergartener says she has a dream that “everyone has food and water” and Stella, another pre-kindergartener says she has a dream that “everyone would be thankful for the things they have in life.” 

PA celebrates King’s life in many ways at PA. As Dr. Flanders notes “King’s movement worked for the full vindication of the equal humanity of all, regardless of skin color.”


Away from Home for the Holidays

An important Spanish tradition is celebrating the “Three Wise Men” (Epiphany) on January 6 as they represent giving gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Christ.

From cuisine, to culture, to custom, Spain and the United States have many observable differences. Despite this, both countries surprisingly share many similarities. This time of year, Providence Academy’s foreign exchange students may be a little homesick for food or language, but they are finding some of the same comforts of home in our overlapping Christmas traditions.

PA’s foreign exchange students, hailing from the Thomas Aquinas school in Madrid, sophomores María La Pastora and Teresa del Águila are seeing these similarities first hand during their first Christmas away from home. Águila noted, “Spain’s Christmas is pretty similar to American Christmas in that we give presents, put up a tree and decorate it.”  Pastora added, “In my family, we decorate the tree together, add a nativity and an advent [wreath], and pray every night. In advent it is more special because when we pray, we light up a candle from the [wreath], depending on what Sunday it is.” She continued, “For Christmas Eve and Day, we basically gather with close relatives; cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents and we have a big meal. We also to go to church.”

Even where practices are similar, some of the particulars are distinct. In America, for instance, people normally put presents under the tree on Christmas Eve and open the gifts on Christmas morning. In Spain however, it works slightly differently. La Pastora stated, ”Christmas is about giving presents ‘secretly’ you could say, because on January 5, you go to sleep and when you wake up, the bottom of the tree is filled with presents. Some families do Santa Clause but mainly Spanish families do the 3 wise men which is also known as the Epiphany.  Our Christmas festivities are normally celebrated after New Years.”

While the students are very grateful for their experiences here, both miss their families at home. Luckily, both have plans to visit Spain over Christmas break. As La Pastora reflected,  “I missed my family the first week, but I got used to my host family and started making friends at school. I’m sad to leave Minnesota after first semester but I’m also excited to see my family again. Most of my brothers study abroad too, so Christmas is one of the few times my entire family gets to be together.”  On the other hand, Maria commented “For the first months, I did not miss my family at all; it’s been the past two months that were truly difficult. My family has had several gatherings and I wasn’t there to be with them.”

Living away from home, foreign exchange students are often thankful to catch a glimpse of how similar American celebrations are to their own. If nothing else, time spent learning about other cultures always sheds new light on familiar customs and deepens gratitude for things we may have taken for granted.

Spain and America share a commonality in preparing the ‘Nativity Scene’ during the Christmas season.