Each year, we select a unique school theme that ties to our focus for the year. Along with that, we select a model of Catholic/Christian living, often a Saint, that fits with our theme.
Our theme for the 2022-2023 school year is Grow Your Soul. The Beatified Blessed Carlo Acutis, a soon-to-be Canonized Saint will be our model of Catholic/Christian living this year. Carlo was a gamer and computer programmer who loved soccer and the Eucharist. From a young age, Carlo seemed to have a special love for God and for praying the rosary.
After he made his First Communion, Carlo went to Mass as often as he could and made Holy Hours before or after Mass. He went to confession weekly and asked his parents to take him on pilgrimages — to the places of the saints, and to the sites of Eucharistic miracles.
Carlo’s witness of faith led to a deep conversion in his mom, because, according to the priest promoting his cause for sainthood, he “managed to drag his relatives, his parents to Mass every day. It was not the other way around; it was not his parents bringing the little boy to Mass, but it was he who managed to get himself to Mass and to convince others to receive Communion daily.” As a teenager, Carlo was diagnosed with leukemia. He offered his sufferings for Pope Benedict XVI and for the Church, saying “I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, for the Pope, and the Church.” He was known for defending kids at school who got picked on, especially differently-abled kids.
Acutis created a website dedicated to cataloging each reported Eucharistic miracle in the world. He completed this in 2005, having started compiling the catalog at the age of eleven. He admired Giacomo Alberione's initiatives to use the media to evangelize and proclaim the Gospel and aimed to do likewise with the website he had created. The Vatican's Medical Council of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints expressed a positive opinion about a miracle in Brazil attributed to Acutis's intercession. Luciana Vianna had taken her son, Mattheus, who was born with a pancreatic defect that made eating difficult, to a prayer service. Beforehand, Vianna had already prayed a novena asking for the teenager Acutis's intercession. During the service her son had simply asked that he should not "throw up as much". Immediately following the service, Mattheus told his mother that he felt healed and asked for solid food when he came home. Until then he had been on an all-liquid diet. After a detailed investigation, Pope Francis confirmed the miracle's authenticity in a decree, leading to Acutis's beatification.