Last week during upperclassmen testing, freshmen took part in a “Day of Reflection”.  Students were asked to reflect upon where they had been, where they are, and where they are going.  The ultimate goal going into the day was to inspire students to make the most of their high school years, to not just show up – but to be present as well. An emphasis was placed on “finding the helpers” at JCA – those people who will help them be successful and give them encouragement.

The students began the day with a teaching mass given by Fr. Jeff (of campus ministry) where they learned the meaning, symbolism and importance of the various elements of the Mass.  He explained the reasons for two candles, the color of his vestments and what certain elements of mass reflect as they relate to Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Freshmen were then asked to take part in a reflective activity wherein they thanked a past teacher. The individual they chose was someone who they felt had a great influence over their lives, who inspired them to be better students and better people. Lastly, JCA welcomed a guest speaker, Joe Frescura, JCHS Class of 1988 graduate and current parent, to impart some wisdom to the students.

Mr. Frescura is a graduate of West Pointe Military Academy and is currently an FBI special agent, but he made clear that the choices that he made in high school are what got him to his current lot in life. Speaking to the freshmen students, he met them where they were and gave them advice that he would have given his 15 year old self. Mr. Frescura emphasized the importance of getting involved at JCA and taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them. Referring to Joliet Catholic Academy as a “training academy” and “leadership lab”, Mr. Frescura ensured to the students that if they each made the effort to do their best, JCA would provide the tools to operate in an adult world.

Throughout the day, the freshman students remained engaged in each of the activities, interactions and talks. JCA strives to encourage, engage, and develop its students from the time they enter our doors through graduation and beyond.

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