BSM students put faith into action after Jablonski incident

| Theresa Malloy | January 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

BSM students put faith into action after Jablonski incident

Students at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park have put faith into action the past two weeks to cope with sophomore hockey player Jack Jablonski’s injury.

Principal Sue Skinner said the students have initiated several fundraising efforts including wristbands, T-shirts and a pond hockey tournament.

Vice president of faith formation and theology teacher Holly Hoey Germann said a group of students even made a card and sent it to one of the Wayzata hockey players who hit Jablonski.

“I think that comes from part of our Catholic teaching of caring for the vulnerable. The kid is going to be suffering, too, in a whole different way,” she said. “For our students to rise to that and think that it’s not just about that physical ailment, to be emotionally just there for Jack, it’s about the bigger picture.”

Skinner said that she thinks students are generally doing better, but some are suffering more than others.

The week after the incident, Germann said, “was really hard. A lot of prayers, a lot of tears, a lot of kids who just wanted to be alone.”

Listening with the heart

The biggest way students continue to cope with the loss is through prayer, Skinner said.

Teachers, guidance counselors, faculty and staff have all been available to answer students’ questions and assist with prayer.

Skinner said she briefed the faculty and staff with some language and materials to help comfort students during a time of tough questions and spiritual need. Part of the school’s Benedictine chrism is to listen, she said.

“As we would shorten it to say, ‘listen with your ears and the heart,’” Skinner said.

BSM will continue to listen and reach out to its students’ needs.

“A lot of kids haven’t had a crisis to this level,” Germann said. “So having the knowledge that God will be present to them regardless of the situation is really significant.”

Germann said last week the school’s chapel was open for students to pray at any time. At one point, she said, more than 150 students crowded the chapel, praying and reading Scripture.

All religion classes participated in novenas.

Skinner said this experience will help students grow in faith and realize the greater Paschal mystery.

“It’s the defining part of our faith, the suffering, death and resurrection,” she said. “The pain isn’t forever. The pain will not win, but as a big community we can walk together as a community knowing that God will not abandon us.”

She added, “That’s a great lesson to learn.”

The school will continue to encourage student action and have a collection for Jablonski at its Catholic School’s Week Mass. Students have also decided to wear white on the 13th of every month to honor Jablonski.

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