Saint Peter's Prep

Tony Azzarto, S.J.
Sept. 1. 2000

Dear Frank: Hello from St. Peter's Prep.

I will mention a few things we do at Prep, and if I can get the stats, I will send them to you. Our faculty has a few Jewish members, a few Hispanic, and one African American. Our student body includes Filipinos, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, as well as other Christian denominations. They are fully involved in the school and often take leadership positions. In fact one of the Seniors who is Hindu will be one of my retreat leaders. Each Friday the Muslim students have a prayer service and everyone is welcome.

The clubs in the school include Indo-Pack club, Asian Society, Ebony Club. They often sponsor dinners or shows or outings for the school. In freshman year we have what is called a Personal Development course for non-catholics instead of Religion. Often it is similar, but more emphasis is placed on the traditions of the students. This was begun by John Browning way back in the 70's. It seems fine. the students, however, are then put into the ordinary religion courses in 2nd and 3rd year.

Different moderators have exchange programs with German, Italian, and Spanish students. Our students also go to the other countries…At our THANKSGIVING LITURGY we had the whole school in the gym. Our prayer service included readings from Hebrew Scriptures, Koran, etc. Students of that religious tradition then reflected on that and what their religion means to them. This has turned out to be very positive. We also have a multi-cultural club that tries to help others appreciate the religious traditions. We had a fine forum last year chaired by David Patel. We had a remembrance service for the Jewish people killed in the Holocaust. A Rabbi came to speak with us and some of our students visited the Temple.

Each year we have a Mission Drive to raise money for people in other countries. We usually begin with presentations on Nigeria, Carolines, Philippines by a faculty member.

The make-up of the school includes students whose parents only speak Polish, Spanish, or who have recently come from India or the Latin American countries. We have many African American students. We are certainly Blessed, as we live so close to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I think we could do a better job in using the talents and backgrounds of students and even hire a person to do that. The school, for the most part, certainly respects the traditions of people and I hope it continues.I hope this helps a little.

Created: October 4, 2000 Updated: October 4, 2000