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Best of the Week 2019-2020: Holy Cross Values



On Tuesday, the St. Edward community gathered together for an ecumenical service in celebration of Black History Month. Veering from a traditional prayer service, this week's multi-denominational Christian service featured poetry and religious readings in addition to musical performances that were offered up as prayers, symbolizing the many customs and traditions within the Christian church. "This service was an opportunity to lift up the voices of members within our community and to reflect the diversity and culture that makes up St. Edward High School," says VP of Mission Effectiveness Mr. Liam Haggerty '02. "While the service may have been a little different than our traditional prayer service format, the spirit of prayer, thanksgiving and praise are central to each and every time we gather together in prayer at St. Ed's. This ecumenical service was an invitation for our community to offer prayers to God. The newness of this opportunity allowed our community to see prayer through a different lens, and for others, an opportunity to pray with our community in a way that made them feel even more at home." Edsmen shared original poems and readings from the Gospel and Holy Cross Constitutions while special guests performed spoken word poetry and gospel songs accompanied by St. Ed's Liturgical Choir.

"One of the goals for this service was to highlight some of the elements of the African-American church and, in particular, the importance of faith," says VP of Equity and Inclusion Mr. James Knight. "Historically, the Black church has been a pillar within the African-American community in the struggle for civil rights and it has been a pivotal place for community and worship. This week's service gave our St. Ed's community a peek into the African-American church tradition and listen to the voices of others through song and word as they testified to the goodness of God and the importance of hope."

"I left the service reminded of how powerful prayer can be. I was moved by each individual's expression of profound faith, hope and joy," says Mr. Haggerty. "I think the best of our community was on display during this service. We are a community willing to grow, to embrace cultural humility, to reach out to one another in love, and to work together to embrace our Holy Cross call to stand side by side with all people."

"The performances during the service were spirit-filled and inspiring not only for myself, but also for our faculty, staff and students," says Mr. Knight. "Our community felt encouraged and challenged to reflect on the past and present. The music provided by our Liturgical Choir and gospel artists stirred our souls and the shared spoken word poems and reflections raised our consciousness and challenged us all to reflect on ways we can live out our faith to move our society and culture forward so that everyone feels valued, celebrated and important."

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