St. Martin’s Academy April Newsletter

The following is the monthly newsletter from St. Martin’s Academy, a Catholic boys boarding school in its’ initial year.

Dear Friends,

Christ is Risen!

Life is good here at St. Martin’s.  The Kansas countryside, sullen and brown for the last several months, has burst forth into brilliant green, broken only by the purple-pink glory of the redbud.  The air is fragrant with lilac.  The woods resound with the hopeful invitations of birds in courtship.  Christ again has made all things new.

Fresh off Easter break, a rejuvenated faculty and their discupili have reconvened to finish the first leg of the race.  That race or curriculum (from the Latin meaning a “course to be run”) has been both arduous and delightful.  The seventeen boys who joined us back in September are more and more resembling young men and we are impressed by their physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual maturation.  Our vision for an integrated education aimed at developing the whole person is working in many ways even better than we had could have hoped.  All Glory be to God!

But there is a long way to go!  We need your prayers and support more than ever right now.  In particular, we are dealing with a complex construction situation on our campus that will require careful management and funding that is yet to be fully secured.  Be assured we are up to the challenge, but it will take all the spiritual and material resources that the greater St. Martin’s community can bring to the contest.  Please keep us in your prayers every day and consider donating as generously as you can to our Raise the Rafters Campaign.  You can make a serious difference for us.

We remain joyfully yours in the race.

Duc in Altum,

Daniel Kerr, President
Patrick Whalen, Headmaster

Raising the Rafters at Saint Martin’s

In mid-January we launched our Raise the Rafters capital campaign to raise $2 million over the next 5 years.  We’re pleased to report that April has been our best month to date with several very generous gifts coming in.

Please help us keep that momentum going!  This is a critical time for us.  Interest in a Saint Martin’s education has gone from steady to downright overwhelming in the last 6 months with new prospective families contacting us daily.  Deo gratias!

Our challenge will not be enrollment.  What is now a student body of 17 will expand to 30 next year with a waiting list all but certain for each class.  Our challenge rather will be to build our campus, specifically the completion of Theotokos Hall followed almost immediately by additional student housing, to keep up with the demand.  This means construction of several bunkhouses to accommodate our growth from 30 to 60 students within the next 3 years.  Will you help us build our campus? 

There is no gift too small (nor too large!) so please take action now and help us build a permanent home for our young men who are poised to become the strong leaders the Church so dearly needs.

Below-left: our future campus.  Below-right: winter sunset on Theotokos Hall, our first building and next year’s hearth and home to 30 students.

Saint Joseph, pray for us

Tomorrow, May 1st, is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker.  Please join St. Martin’s faculty and students in asking the holy carpenter’s intercession as we move forward in completing construction of Theotokos Hall in preparation for next year.  Please pray in particular for the safety and swift success of the work crews, for financial provision, and especially for prudence in key decisions.  We will begin the Novena below on May 1st.
O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. Amen

O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (Mention your intention)

2019 FORT Camp in Review

Late March found the woods surrounding Base Camp at St. Martin’s full of students and campers being put through their paces. This year’s camp was a bit different in that we had the opportunity to place several of our students in leadership positions and test them just as we tested the campers.  Team leaders were responsible for team accountability, cohesion, and performance.  First up in the morning and last to bed each evening they mentored the younger campers through a week of training that was as demanding as it was rewarding.

Just one example: one morning, after a day of sunny skies and sixty-five degrees the boys awoke to 30 degrees and a mix of snow and sleet. In that kind of weather every fiber in your body wants to stay curled up in your sleeping bag.

It is then, as the boys learned, that the call to fortitude is at its starkest.

Kingfisher Rugby

The St. Martin’s rugby season concludes this Saturday, May 4th with our first ever home game in Fort Scott.  The Kingfishers will take on Olathe at 12pm.

Come cheer on the boys in their final match!

Above: The Kingfishers (left) lock horns in a scrum with the boys from Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park.   Thomas Aquinas is one of the elite rugby programs in the United States and gives us a great example to look towards as we build our program.

Spring Foraging

April is one of the very best months to forage for wild edibles in the Midwest.  Wild asparagus, onion and garlic along with dandelion and nettle are some of the favorite targets.

But for most foragers in Kansas, April is associated with one prized find in particular: the morel mushroom.  Morels are shy and mysterious creatures.  They are so delicate it is nearly impossible to cultivate them and they are really only found in the wild during a small and hard-to-predict window in April.  The picture above is taken from a quick morel hunting excursion during Mr. Kerr’s Natural History class.  In about 20 minutes, the boys found 120 morels, an impressive haul!  Most are small “greys” which are particularly difficult to locate and require a slow and patient approach on hands and knees, in this case through a dense cedar grove.  Why all the fuss?  They taste good.  Really good.

Freshman Nate Jones: “Never mind this being the best mushroom I’ve ever had, this is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted!”  Morel fever is contagious.

Canoeing the Jack’s Fork

Prior to Easter Break, our Residential Dean Travis Dziad organized a terrific two-day canoe trip along the Jack’s Fork river in southern Missouri.  The Jack’s Fork is fed primarily by springs and the water is some of the cleanest and clearest in the U.S..

Above: exploring one of the many large caves along the Jack’s Fork  Below-left: lunch-break on a rock. Below-right: morel mushrooms hitting the skillet as part of a shore dinner along the river.

Copyright © 2019 St. Martin’s Academy Inc., All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1950 Indian Rd. Fort Scott, KS 66701

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