Spiritual Reflections

Our Lady of Grace: Let the children come to me.

"Let the children come to me. Come all who are weary."

Our Lady of Grace Montessori School and Center is a unique sponsored ministry of the IHM Congregation. As you drive onto the property and proceed along the tree-lined driveway, you arrive at a beautiful retreat house which is a spiritual oasis for those seeking to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Proceeding further down the road will bring you to Our Lady of Grace Montessori School which seeks to provide young children with a love of learning in an environment that envelops them in the love of God. 

For over sixty years, the retreat house has been a source of refuge and peace for those seeking spiritual programs, recovery programs, faculty renewal days, days of prayer and mindfulness offerings.

People come from near and far to savor the prayerful atmosphere offered here. The sign along the driveway that says “respect the serenity of this place” immediately brings a sense of calmness, peace and quiet to those who arrive on the seven-acre campus. People have been known to reflect on the healing that has taken place in their lives after visiting this sacred place. 

Those entering the Montessori School are greeted with our core values on the front wall. The values of beauty, community, respect, spirituality and love are the staples of our program. Children learn in a mixed-aged environment where they learn to respect each other’s similarities and differences. With attention to our outdoor garden, they learn to value and tend to our beautiful yet fragile earth through planting, sowing and harvesting. They reap what they sow as they prepare mouth-watering delicacies to share with others. At the retreat house there is a memorial garden, honoring the memory of students and teachers called home to God, that is tended by our elementary students. It is a place of prayerfulness and peace. The children take great pleasure in birdwatching throughout the campus. Ask any of our Kindergarten students to identify the birds and you will be greatly surprised to hear the correct answer. 

The retreat house with its small chapel is a blessing for all on the property, especially the school children. The children gather to pray with the community in this sacred space. Children who have received the Sacrament of Holy Communion in their local parishes gather at Our Lady of Grace to celebrate together with their school community. Children dress in their Communion suits and dresses, prepare every aspect of the Liturgy and take part in a Mass of Thanksgiving with their families. Prayer services are held at various times throughout the year, and the children are fully engaged in the preparation and presentation of the services. There is a beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother on the campus where children will stop with their parents and say a prayer, and the Second Grade children prepare a lovely May crowning for the school population. 

An important part of Our Lady of Grace is the IHM League. The League plans all of our friend-raising and fundraising activities, many of which are held at the Center. League members find refuge from their busy lives as they come together to celebrate and pray. Christmas is a particularly wonderful time for retreatants and school families alike because the Center is beautifully decorated. Retreatants gather together in Advent prayer, and the school children present a Christmas show celebrating the Nativity of our Lord. Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some carols and the arrival of Santa Claus! 

A priority for us as a sponsored ministry of the IHM Congregation is our outreach to those in need. We have been richly blessed as a community, and our commitment to helping those in need motivates us to never take for granted what we have been given. Our school community has participated in the St. John’s Bread and Life ministry run through St. John’s University every year. Children bring in gifts for less fortunate children as well as clothes, baby necessities and food. Our elementary children engage in a fundraising activity each year where they choose a need within the community and educate the rest of the student body about it. We are a caring community that reaches out to those who are sick by providing meals for families, and we gather together in prayer for healing. This year we will be taking part in a program called “Halo Helpers” in memory of Rosie Beagan. Rosie passed away at the age of two, and her family has created this organization to collect toys and clothing for underprivileged children at Christmastime. Rosie’s mom, Laura, is a graduate of our school, and Rosie’s sister, Olivia, began our program this year. 

Our Lady of Grace Montessori School and Center has been a place of “homecoming” for so many of our former families and retreatants. We are blessed with a loving, generous community who value our core values and eagerly look for an opportunity to return to OLG. This sponsored ministry is a gift to so many and we in turn thank God for all of our incredible blessings. 

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