By Jaslene Quizhpi and Olivia Rosario, Gr. 8
It is often said that tragedies can test a person’s faith, and this past year certainly has been very tragic. However, during these difficult times, Notre Dame Catholic Academy School has triumphed and has developed their faith stronger than ever. Certainly, COVID-19 has had a strong impact on Notre Dame Catholic Academy. In March of 2020, a deadly virus called, “COVID-19” began to take over our lives and forced Notre Dame Catholic Academy also known as NDCA, to shut down for the rest of the school year. According to Kaylee Gipson, an 8th grader attending NDCA, “At first I was happy because I thought remote was just a temporary thing, but when I found out that we were closing down for a while I was devastated.” This was the reaction of most students at NDCA. Sadly, all year-end events like graduation had to be cancelled and done virtually. It is pretty evident how upsetting this would be for the students and teachers, but through it all everyone remained steadfast in their faith and turned to God in prayer.
In September 2020, NDCA was fortunate enough to reopen and welcomed everyone back for in person learning. According to Victoria Lis, an 8th grade student, “ We have to be 6 feet apart, wear masks and we’re doing remote learning in school.” Despite these changes and challenges, the teachers and students of NDCA have still kept strong in their faith and are keeping religious traditions alive just in a different way. One such change is that the school now says morning prayer together virtually. They also expressed their faithfulness through virtual prayer services for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Religion classes continue to be held in person or on Zoom which allows all students the opportunity to grow in their knowledge of Catholicism and faithfulness.
Under these difficult circumstances, Notre Dame Catholic Academy School and Our Lady of Miraculous Medal parish have joined together and continue to be devoted in faith. The school and parish are working together to have the classes attend weekly liturgies. Of course, it is done in a safe way where masks are worn and everyone is socially distant. Sacraments are also taking place once again which is extremely significant. The third grade received Communion in September and the Eighth grade received Confirmation in November. For Lent, classes have or will be receiving Penance. The 8th grade class was even able to have their Ring Day ceremony following all safety guidelines in Church. The 7th grade interviewed Bishop Chappetto on Zoom which the whole school had the opportunity to watch during Catholic Schools Week. It is truly remarkable how the NDCA community expresses their spirituality and faithfulness with strength and endurance amid a challenging time.
Faith is being dedicated to something you love and believe in. So as you can probably tell, NDCA certainly is proclaiming their faith and dedication to God. Even though some religious traditions and events are different, NDCA has not faltered in what is truly important. We must not abandon our faith during trying times, but rather embrace new ways to celebrate our belief in God. In the small town of Ridgewood, NDCA has demonstrated how faithfulness is alive and growing.