Borromeo Academy’s prayer breakfast focuses on joy

A video screen at one end of the gym showed the Borromeo Academy brand as guests and friends found their seats for breakfast as the second annual Prayer Breakfast got under way Dec. 7. (Marty Denzer/Key photo)

By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Associate Editor

KANSAS CITY — Despite the early hour, Mass at St. Charles Borromeo Church was packed at 7:30 a.m., with students and teachers, parents and parishioners as well as friends and admirers of Borromeo Academy.

Just before Mass started, St. John Francis Regis Academy principal Robin Fisher spoke to the assembly, thanking them, the Borromeo Academy teachers and principal Ann Lachowitzer for their consultation, advice and assistance in St. Regis’ transition to a classical education model at the beginning of the current academic year.

The Mass was celebrated by Father Don Farnan, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo, with Fr. Phillip Egan, pastor of Holy Family parish, and Fr. Sean McCaffrey, pastor of St. John Francis Regis parish in south Kansas City concelebrating. The priests were assisted by Deacons James Olshefski, Victor Quaison, Joseph Whiston and Frank Peak (retired) and altar servers. The Academy choir led the responses and the singing. Students read the First Reading and the Prayers of the Faithful.

Following the Mass, the congregation was invited to check out the church’s new Gathering Space and then head for the gym and breakfast.

Emcee Frank Boal, a graduate of Catholic schools, welcomed all to the gym, recalling his days as a student of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Pittsburgh. “I wouldn’t be what I am now if it wasn’t for my Catholic education,” the veteran sportscaster, who retired in the summer of 2017, said.

During his opening remarks, Father Farnan recalled that the past year had been a year of construction, of building. That physical construction symbolizes spiritual construction, he said.

“Two and a half years ago, I had to announce that our school would have to close. Instead of that happening, we took a path of rejuvenation instead of defeat.” He outlined the switch from the former academic methods to a classical education model, which turned defeat upside down. “I am sold on the classical education model,” he exclaimed. “Thank you for bringing joy back to the St. Charles community!”

Patriotically costumed fourth and fifth graders sang and performed recitations from the Declaration of Independence, 1776; the Spirit of Liberty, 1944; a speech by Sojourner Truth, 1851; a diary entry of Anne Frank, 1942; the Gettysburg Address, 1863, and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963.

Borromeo Academy principal Ann Lachowitzer harkened back to Fr. Farnan’s comment on joy when she said, “Joy is the one word I think of when entering the building. Joy is a treasure … a living treasure … it makes us whole!”

She said it is joy-filled to be part of the formation of boys and girls who will become citizens of the world and be saints. “The student body has grown to and remained at 200 students. With the recent enrollment of a new student, the sixth grade is at full capacity. What was once a melancholy community is now brimming with joy, we again experience joy. Our joy at Borromeo Academy is rising.”

A similarly named video — “Joy Rising,” produced by local film maker Michael McGlinn, featured Borromeo Academy students and teachers in class, on the playground and at prayer. Students talked about learning Latin, reading and discussing great literature and studying history, connecting everything and fun to learn. Teachers spoke of the blessings and happiness they received in teaching their students.

The breakfast ended with an invitation to tour the newly completed Fine Arts Floor, the classrooms, the new Parish Office and to enjoy cookies and coffee with Fr. Farnan and some members of his family.

Twenty five percent of the funds raised at the Prayer Breakfast will benefit St. Regis Academy as that school continues its transition to Classical Catholic Education.


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October 23, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph