From the Headmaster

Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day


The providence of Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day coinciding for the first time since 1945 is not lost on me. This year, February 14 carried extraordinary meaning with its focus on the heart. As a school of the Sacred Heart, Princeton Academy grounds itself in love. Ash Wednesday, a day of peace, marks the beginning of our Lent season. With faith and belief, we engage in this period of preparation through sacrifice to remind us of the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. Lent is mindfulness incarnate, placing focus on that which matters most. "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." In receiving our ashes, we are reminded of our mortality and compelled to prioritize our purpose on this earth, as ephemeral as our time may be. The balance of our mortality with love centers us on the relationship between self and other. The symbol of the world within an open heart defines our Sacred Heart community and guides us toward everlasting love, kindness and understanding. Our young men are exposed to this, always, and the Sacred Heart Goals are our aspiration - this is in the DNA of our school.

We know that children are endowed with a special spiritual essence, which is why Princeton Academy is proud to be a part of The Collaborative for Spiritual Development with Dr. Lisa Miller of Columbia University (author of The Spiritual Child). Through our mission, we believe deeply in the importance of nurturing the spiritual development of our boys' identities. The season of Lent provides our compassionate young men an opportunity to discover the purpose of an open heart.

With love and hope, our deepest prayers are with those in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community in Parkland, Florida. May God grant peace to those suffering and give humanity the strength to end the violence that exists in our world. 

Alfred (Rik) F. Dugan III

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