Celebrating traditions is a favorite part of life within the Villa community, and traditions are planted deep within our history. Traditions help students practice and learn the importance of community, faith, leadership, and service. They celebrate important milestones and holidays, set examples for younger students, and pass the torch to the next generation.
A few of our traditions include:
Family Mass and Picnic
Each September, the entire Villa family gathers for Mass in the Motherhouse Sacred Heart Chapel and then the students parade to the front steps of the school. After a short welcome and prayer, families enjoy a nice picnic lunch on our lawn or at one of our food trucks while children enjoy time together dancing, bouncing, at our photo booth or getting their faces painted.
Big Sister/Little Sister
The first and eighth grades form a special bond through the Big Sister Little Sister relationship. Each eighth grader is paired with a first grader to mentor and lead through the year. The girls participate in a special activity at the Family Mass and Picnic, take a joint field trip in the fall, celebrate Christmas together, and have a picnic in the spring.
Mission Day is sponsored by the eighth grade to raise awareness, money, and goods for various mission projects. On Halloween, the gym undergoes a transformation and becomes a place for karaoke, haunted houses, cakewalks, and more. Each grade takes part in the celebrations and the funds raised benefit charitable causes.
Each Christmas season, the Villa community gathers in Sacred Heart Chapel to celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ birth. Led by the eighth grade, choir and handbell ensemble, the Christmas Pageant allows everyone to pause and witness the prayer of the season.
Early in May, the school gathers to celebrate Mary, the Mother of God. Led by our second grade communicants, students processes into Sacred Heart Chapel for Mass and the Crowning of Mary.
Passing of the Light
During this service, the eighth grade passes the leadership of the school to the seventh grade. Various symbols are used to represent the different aspects of Villa Maria Academy that the seventh grade models for the rest of the school. Held in Sacred Heart Chapel, the Passing of the Light occurs in early June.
Emily Koenig Spirit Award
An annual tradition during Passing of the Light is the presentation of the Emily Koenig Award. Emily Koenig was a seventh grader at Villa when she passed away suddenly after being exposed to a deadly strain of bacterial meningitis. The selected student embodies Emily’s spirit of kindness and inclusion and is nominated by her seventh grade peers. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Koenig for their continued support of Villa Maria Academy and our students.
Graduation marks the end of a young woman’s journey at Villa Maria Academy Lower School and is a bittersweet day for our eighth graders and their families. Graduation includes Mass in Sacred Heart Chapel followed by the awarding of diplomas and a celebration sponsored by the seventh grade.