You are here

Message from the Director

February 10, 2016

Dear members of the Prep Community,

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent in the Catholic Church. The beginning of this holy season has me thinking about what it means to reorient ourselves to Christ, as we are called to do in these 40 days. In this Year of Mercy Pope Francis would tell us that the pathway to Christ is through opening our hearts to God’s love.

When he was known as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Pope Francis wrote the following about today’s first reading from the Book of Joel:

Rend your hearts, so that through that crack we can really look at ourselves. Rend your hearts, open your hearts, because only in a broken and open heart can the merciful love of God enter, who loves and heals us. Rend your hearts says the prophet, and Paul asks us almost on his knees “be reconciled with God.” To change one’s way of living is the sign and fruit of this broken and reconciled heart by a love that surpasses us.

Often, in Lent, we focus on the broken parts of our lives - our sin, our shortcomings, our failures to love others. We even put a sign of them on our forehead today! But, rarely, do we focus on how God’s love can grow in those broken moments. As Pope Francis reminds us, in this Lenten season, we can grow closer to God by accepting the immense love He has for us, evidenced in the person of Jesus.

Please see below for some of the ways we will be opening ourselves to Christ’s mercy during Lent here at Prep.


God Bless,


Maura Toomb

Director of Campus Ministry


Ignatian Resources for Lent (compiled by the Jesuit Conference)

  • Loyola Press presents Lenten Moments of Mercy, a daily email series that delivers reflections based on the Scriptures of Lent, sharing the inspiring words of Pope Francis and suggesting Lenten actions and prayers during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. Sign up to receive the daily messages from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday here.

  • The Ignatian Solidarity Network is hosting a daily blog called Lift Every Voice: A Lenten Journey Toward Racial Justice to address racism through the lens of Ignatian spirituality and daily readings. It will feature more than 20 writers from the Jesuit network, including Saint Louis University president Fred Pestello, Boston College theologian M. Shawn Copeland and Jesuit Father Fred Kammer, executive director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans.

  • The Apostleship of Prayer, in partnership with Ave Maria Press, invites you to Pray with the Gospels During Lent on its Sacred Reading blog, with daily prayer exercises using the prayer techniques of St. Ignatius Loyola. You can also sign up there to receive daily emails of the blog's content.

  • Jesuit and Ignatian prayer sites are another great way to pray during Lent., produced by the Midwest Jesuits, offers the daily Scripture, along with an Ignatian prayer for the day and an Ignatian reflection written by Jesuits and lay collaborators. Sacred Space, run by the Irish Jesuits and Loyola Press, also offers daily prayers and reflections. Pray as You Go, by the British Jesuits, has daily audio prayer sessions that you can download, and has a compilation of online retreats, video reflections and articles for the Lenten season.

Prayer at SPP

  • The entire Prep community will come together twice for liturgy and prayer during the Lenten season - first, to kick off Arrupe Week on March 14, and again on Wednesday, March 23 for Stations of the Cross before our Easter break.

  • We will offer Reconciliation Services for freshmen and juniors during 2nd period and Community Period and on two days during Lent (Freshmen and Juniors had this opportunity during Advent). Juniors will participate on February 24 and freshmen will participate March 9.

  • Each morning, mass is offered at 7:25am in the Prep chapel, and lunchtime mass is offered on Tuesdays at 11:40am. Building an additional mass into your weekly routine could be a great Lenten practice!


  • From February 16-19 and March 1-4, sixty-five members of the Class of 2017 will make the Kairos Retreat.

  • From February 27-29, twenty-five members of the Class of 2016 will continue the tradition at Prep by participating in the Emmaus Retreat.

  • From February 19-20 and March 11-12, fifty-five members of the Class of 2018 will offer service to and solidarity with people experiencing poverty on the Sophomore Retreat.

  • On Friday, March 11, the Prep Faculty and Staff will be participating in our own retreat at Loyola Retreat House in Morristown, NJ. We will be reflecting on this year’s theme, “People of God (Pueblo de Dios).”

  • From March 12-13 all Prep parents are invited to participate in our Parent Retreat at St. Mary’s Abbey in Morristown, NJ. If you are interested in registering for this, please contact Dr. Jane Bleasdale at

Service and Justice Issues

  • Our annual Arrupe Week takes place March 14-18. The theme is Preferential Option for the Poor in Central America, and the mission statement for the week can be found here. A full schedule of the week can be found here and a schedule of the breakout sessions being offered after school in the weeks before can be found here.

  • We would like to invite any students/parents who have roots in or experience with Central America to share those if you’d like during our week. If you’re interested, please contact Ms. Maura Toomb at

  • The Office of Student Life began the annual Mission Drive today and it will run through Friday, April 8. Our donations support our partner agencies in Quito, Ecuador, Los Angeles, CA, and Bethel, AK.