Saturday, May 29, 2021

Leadership Mass 2021

Message from the ASA Class of 2021: 

Good afternoon to our principals, teachers, staff, students, and most importantly our fellow graduating classmates. As you know, next year we will be moving up into high school. That means the seventh-grade class will become the new leaders of All Saints Academy. And we know you’ll be great at it. With the support of your friends and classmates, anything is possible. I’m sure that my classmates agree with me when I say that this year has been going great, given the circumstances. And we’re sure that will happen to you too. As eighth-graders, you will have to be examples of the four core values: faith, learning, loving, and serving. In this Leadership Mass, we will pass our candles down to you, symbolizing your turn to lead. 

First and foremost, we’d like to give a big thanks to our homeroom teachers, Mrs. Beckwith and Ms. Arbaugh, who have gone through the blood, sweat, and tears of taking care of us. We are also grateful for Mr. Kress, Mrs. Patterson, our educators from our early years, and the specialist teachers for pushing through this time and modifying their ways of teaching to make the most out of our 8th-grade year. We are incredibly appreciative of the office staff, Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. Szczytko, for creating a welcoming environment. Last, and most importantly Mr. Debri and Ms. Giroux for keeping every individual part of our school in line and doing everything they can to make our community safe and fun. 

One of the things that makes our community stronger is our faith, which has been a major factor in our lives this past year. With COVID-19, our faith has been shaken. Luckily, we have amazing priests that have been there for us. Fr. Tom and Fr. Danny have been incredibly helpful in guiding us closer to God. We are also blessed with the support of our pastors from our other 3 founding parishes. Although visits from class partner priests haven’t been possible this year we have appreciated the opportunities we have had to celebrate at Mass with Msgr H, Father Rick and Fr. George. 

Our confirmation classes incorporated into our weekly class schedule this year have taught us more about who Jesus is and who we are. Being able to ask questions directly to the priests was a great way to learn more about our faith. If we’re being honest, faith doesn’t come easy. But then again, neither does life. Having our incredible teachers, priests, and principals there for us was key. God has blessed us all with the best eighth-grade year we could have, given the circumstances, and we are sure your year will be just as good. 

We wish you the best of luck on your new adventure. Remember, this isn't going to happen instantly. This is a step-by-step process. Our leadership abilities are still improving. We're all experiencing it, each and every one of us. Eighth-grade comes with being a good leader. One quality needed is the ability to work with others. So, when you begin on this wonderful, challenging, and thrilling journey together, continue to pray for and support one another. We send our sincere prayers, love, and encouragement to each and every one of you.  

Ultimately, thank you to everyone who has helped us. We would never have come this far without you. Lastly, we are thankful for each other. We have learned so much about friendship and life in general. We’ll all miss each other, as we split into different high schools, and hope we see one another someday. And now, future eighth graders, it is your turn to take up the responsibility of leading this school. We believe in each and every one of you. 

And of course, we’d like to say goodbye. Goodbye to our principals, teachers, faculty, fellow students, and most importantly to each other.    

Message from the ASA class of 2022:

Thank you Emma and Grace, and thank you 8th grade for being great leaders of the ASA Upper during this strange, unforgettable, and outstanding year. You have been a great influence on us, the 7th grade, and the whole middle school. We wish you luck in high school. We know you will continue to be great leaders. 

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.This is the verse we picked because it applies to everyday life and shows how to be a good leader. 1 Corinthians 16:13 shows that we need to be strong, brave, and be a good figure in faith. 
Our goal for faith next year is to show our faith in eighth grade by participation in mass and in the ways we act. We also want to lead by examples of faith. We want to teach others about our faith to help others grow. As a class, we want to grow our relationship with God. So for eighth grade, we can have a mindset of leadership. 

We will all strive to respect one another and to help each other to become better people. We will make sure that every one of us can support each others' growth. All of us are going to try to help others in lower grades to be the best they can be. 

Our goal for learning next year is to make sure we persevere through the next tough year. We all are trying to get better with learning so we can be successful in life later. We will try to set a great example for the younger grades. 

Through serving we will set a good example and role model for the rest of the school. In any service we do, impacting others and making their life a little bit better is our goal. People need help, and the uncertainty that happened in the past year didn’t help out. We believe that with God’s guidance, we can be that help.

Thank you again 8th grade for being great leaders at ASA. We know we have big shoes to fill. We wish you luck in high school.

The recording of the 2021 Leadership Mass is available on the St Jude vimeo page.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

A Day at the ASA Upper Campus


Law Day 2021


ASA 8th Graders Served as Jury Members for Law Day 2021

  Law Day is held on May 1st every year to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession.  Many high schools and a few middle schools hold mock trials in May to teach students about our court system and the legal profession.  

This year, our 8th graders were able to collaborate with the 8th graders from Corpus Christi Catholic School in Holland Michigan and serve as the jury in a mock trial.  The case, Styles v. Christie Properties, Ltd., was adapted from a 2015 Georgia case and made available from the Georgia State Bar.  

Before and after serving as the jury for this case, ASA students learned about the role of the jury in court proceedings, the jury selection process and voir dire, the burden of proof, and differences in criminal and civil courts.  Students came to school on May 10th prepared to listen impartially and render a just verdict.  The trial was streamed live and ASA students listened to the Corpus Christi students acting out the roles of the lawyers, witnesses, plaintiff, and defendant. The judge was The Honorable Paul Kraus, an Ottawa County Prosecutor.

”Our students were engaged and taking notes throughout the trial. They really took their role seriously” -Nicole Patterson 8th grade ELA Teacher

When the trial was finished, the student jury turned off the cameras to deliberate.  Cadan Wodarek served as jury foreman and did a great job moderating the conversation.  Votes were taken and all jurors did not agree.  Students used their notes to make arguments for or against the defendant and the plaintiff.  In the end, the jury reached a decision and the foreman announced it to the court over a Google Meet.  It was a great learning experience for all involved.

“It was a unique experience to see how a trail was done.” 

- Cadan Wodarek

“Corpus Christi did a good job acting out the trial.”

- Edem Denoo

“The [defendant] was so guilty.”

- Connor Calton

“Law Day taught us important skills we may need later in life.

- Olivia Ontiveros

Great work 8th grade! Special thanks to Mrs. Megan Koster and Mrs. Jennifer Liniewski from Corpus Christi for partnering with us, to Judge Paul Kraus for presiding over the case, to the St. Alphonsus Education Endowment foundation for the generous grant to make this day possible, to Miss Giroux for introducing us to the program, and to the ASA 8th grade teachers, Mrs. Patterson, Mrs. Beckwith, Miss Arbaugh and Mr. Kress for making this special project possible this year.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Say Yes to Service and Listen for God

"Say yes to service, and listen for God in the silence of your heart."

David Sacha


The All Saints Academy Community lifts up David Sacha and his family as he prepares for Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate tomorrow, May 15, 2021. This morning our 3rd grade lead the upper campus students in praying the rosary for David and his fellow seminarians.

Back in 2018 David shared a message with us for our Season of The Saints Alumni Spotlight. We thought we would pull that message out again this week to share in honor of his "yes" to God's call! 

David Sacha is a graduate of both All Saints Academy (2010) and West Catholic (2014). His family are active St Alphonsus parishioners. 

David started his Catholic school career at St Isidore and made the switch to All Saints Academy with his classmates in 7th grade when ASA opened. According to David his two years at ASA were exciting due to bigger classes, more people to share ideas with, more band options and the hardworking teachers committed to helping students learn and maintaining a strong Catholic identity!

David recently returned from a semester studying abroad in Rome with the Catholic Studies Program at St Thomas University. He was struck by the universality of the Church during his time in Rome as he was privileged to study and pray with priests from Romania, Haiti, Africa, and Italy, as well as a groups of Irish seminarians. These men  became role models and excellent images of universal Christ-centred lives for David. 

When asked about hearing God’s call in his life, David spoke passionately about the important role his family, especially his parents, played in “tilling the soil of service at home and the community.” He shared how his family life helped him come to understand the importance of serving others in even the littlest things like cheering on teammates and classmates to do their best. It was the emphasis on serving others, David says, that prompted him to say “I could do that” one day during a classroom visit from Fr. Don Lomasiewicz asked “Who will replace me?” 

David went on to give advice to all those seeking God’s call in their own lives, whatever that call may be. He pointed out that this world is full of noises and demand telling us where to go and what to do. Inspired by Saint Therese of Calcuta he continued “this is not the Lord’s invitation. Vocation arises for the deepest places in our heart, not from the world. Listen to you heart in silence,  in front of the Blessed Sacrament.” David emphasized the importance of quiet time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He noted that “no one delights in us more than Jesus!” so we should quiet ourselves enough to listen to him in his presence. 

Please join the ASA community it praying for David this year as he prepared for Ordination to the Priesthood next year. He specifically asked for prayers that he may be a holy, pure and loving priest!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Cherish Your Time Here

Jalen Mayfield, a graduate of ASA in 2014, was drafted this past weekend by the Atlanta Falcons. In an interview from 2018 with Nick Moll, a current ASA student, Jalen mentioned his ultimate goal of getting to the NFL. 

Congratulations, Jalen, on accomplishing your goal! It is exciting to see our ASA Alumni shining as they chase after their dreams. You can watch Jalen’s reaction in the WZZM13 broadcast, and below you can read the interview between Nick and Jalen, originally published in our Seasons of the Saints in the Winter of 2018. 

Cherish Your Time Here: An Interview with Jalen Mayfield in 2018

By Nick Moll (Class of 2021)

Each year, Catholic Central students return to their former elementary school for a half day of service. Senior Jalen Mayfield was among the students that came to work at All Saints Academy this fall. Between helping to spread wood chips and digging a border trench in the ASA Community Garden, Jalen took a few minutes to talk with Nick Moll, a 5th grader at All Saints Academy this year (2017-2018). 

Jalen started at ASA in 8th grade, but his short time here had a big impact on him. He fondly remembers the fun, loving, caring community that welcomed him to ASA as a transfer student. Jalen said it was the warm welcome he received that helped him prepare for high school. He told Nick that ASA helped him learn to be ready to adapt in all situations and the importance of reaching out to welcome others. Jalen proudly stated that both of these skills have helped him be successful in both classes in high school and on the football field. 

During his year at ASA, Jalen was baptized into the Catholic Church. Nick asked Jalen how this experience has impacted him. Jalen said that his year in religion class at ASA intrigued him and both what he learned as well as the graces from that initial sacrament have provided him a foundation of faith to fall back on when times get tough. Jalen spoke of relying on his faith on the football field, in school, and when dealing with tragedy. 

Jalen helped lead the Catholic Central football team to a Division 4 State Championship this fall (2017) and was honored at the 2017 Grand RApids Press Defensive player of the year. He is headed to the University of Michigan next fall to play football on a full scholarship. His ultimate goal is to get to the NFL, but for now he emphasized the importance of going to college and continuing his education. 

Jalen’s last piece of advice for current ASA students:
“Don’t be shy. Have fun. Cherish every moment. It goes fast!”