Origins of the Crowning of Mary

The May Crowning of Mary is a long-standing Catholic tradition that honors the Virgin Mary. Families typically hold a “May Crowning,” where Mary is presented with a floral crown and other handmade items. We hope that this information will help teach your child about the origins of this beautiful Catholic tradition.

The Traditions
Catholics have long honored the Blessed Virgin Mary in May. Most Catholic churches create a dedicated area that includes a picture or statue of Mary, surrounded by flowers and candles. This remains throughout the entire month of May to memorialize the importance of our Mother Mary in Church and in our personal lives. During “May Crowning,” we honor Mary as Mother of God and Queen of the Universe.

Why May
Throughout history, May has brought special observances, traditions, and devotions to Mary, which led her to be known as the “Queen of May.” In the medieval times, winter ended at the start of May because it was considered a time of new growth and beginnings. It was during this time that the “Tricesimum” (“30-Day Devotion to Mary” or “Lady Month”) period began. That’s when special devotions to the Mother of God started in May — spreading from Italy all around the world. Parishes traditionally have daily recitation of the Rosary in May. The final devotion on the last day of May is typically followed by a procession, where the structure or image of Mary is taken back into church. 

Mother, not Goddess
It’s important to note that we do not view Mary as a goddess, nor do we worship Mary; she is honored or venerated as the mother of Christ and Mother of God, the most important woman in our Catholic faith. She is the first to hold God within her and was conceived without the stain of original sin so as to be the perfect tabernacle of our Lord. She also holds a special place with her son and can intercede for us in a special way as shown in scripture. This is why we say “to Jesus through Mary.”

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

The Celebration of Ash Wednesday


For parents, sometimes it can be difficult to explain things to children. St. Charles Borromeo, one of the top
Orlando Catholic schools, knows how hard it might be educating your child about religious observations and celebrations without confusing her. Here are a few ideas to help parents like you explain the importance of Ash Wednesday.

Make It Fun
Some children understand better through kinesthetic learning, so we recommend you make a fun game out of teaching small yet important lessons. You can get your child to play tag and every time that she tags someone, she has to name one reason we celebrate Ash Wednesday or why it is important to our faith. At the end of the game, everyone should have said at least one reason and learned. Plus, a cool bonus is that your child will get a quick outdoor exercise from this experience.

Stay Traditional
If your child is an auditory learner, you can try to talk about why Ash Wednesday is important. Although it’s a serious topic, it doesn’t mean that the conversation has to be intense. Your child will be more likely to remember things when you use fun and innovative concepts that she will relate to. So don’t be scared to use her favorite TV shows as an analogy to explain the importance of it. By using specific scenes and characters in an episode, you will be able to effectively describe what Ash Wednesday is and what it represents. At the end of the day, the meaning is what matters, not how you phrase it.

Use Visuals
Another technique that can help your child understand Ash Wednesday is explaining this Bible verse from Genesis 3:19: ”Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Many children hear this and easily get confused or scared. Gather any type of ash-like substance, such as dirt or sand, to show them a visual. By doing this before Ash Wednesday, your child will be ready and fully aware of the true meaning of this day.

By exposing your child to these ideas, she’s more likely to become closer to God because she will understand the meaning behind her actions. St. Charles Borromeo, one of the Orlando Catholic schools, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Catholic Schools Week Open House


The 46th annual Catholic Schools Week is coming up! From January 26th to February 1st, Catholic schools all around the country all celebrate and connect through by attending Masses and participating in assemblies. This year’s theme is to learn, serve, lead, and succeed. Take a look at why St. Charles Borrom
eo, an Orlando Catholic school, is honored and celebrated.

A Blue Ribbon School
In October 2007, St. Charles was named by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon school. Just one of only 287 in the nation to receive this honor, St. Charles was recognized for its academic excellence and closing subgroup achievement gaps. 

Parent Partnerships
Although we are fully staffed with high-quality, experienced instructors, parents are the primary educators for their children. We believe that it’s a true privilege to be a part of each student’s learning experience. We are proud to partner with you — the parents — to help your child grow into a confident, capable member of society.

Academic
With our challenging, rigorous curriculum, your child will embrace his true potential, giving him a solid academic foundation and help him develop his God-given talents. Our instructors create a safe, comfortable, and healthy learning environment where students have the opportunity to grow into enthusiastic, lifelong learners. Your child will receive individualized attention from our teachers and will receive differentiated instruction because we understand that students learn in a variety of ways.


Athletics
Because of our partnership with Catholic Youth Sports, your child has the opportunity to participate in a variety of athletic activities, such as basketball, track, volleyball, cheerleading, and soccer. Sports and team participation teach valuable lessons that are important to your child’s future success, such as leadership, teamwork, communication, and self-discipline. 

Faith
The spiritual health of your child is one of our top priorities. Faith is incorporated in our daily lives, so it must be implemented into our curriculum. Between religious classes, monthly and weekly Mass, retreats, daily prayer, and serving the world around us, students at St. Charles learn that faith is more than just words; it’s a social responsibility we have as Catholics.

Join us for our open house on Sunday, January 26th from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tour the school, meet our teachers and administration, learn why St. Charles is the right choice for your family, and how your child can become a Bulldog. We offer a Christ-centered learning environment, rigorous academic programs, a safe and secure campus, after school care programs, and financial assistance opportunities. 

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

St. Charles Day

As you know, Charles Borromeo was a Roman Catholic archbishop and cardinal from Milan in the 1500s. He was a member of a noble family and was Pope Pius IV’s nephew. He died on November 4th, a day that is now recognized as St. Charles Day. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, honors its namesake by celebrating with a feast. Here’s how your family can participate in activities that memorialize him.

Eat an Italian Meal
In his memory, cook an Italian meal or visit a local Italian restaurant. POPSUGAR has Italian dinner options that will empower your child in the kitchen. Allow your little chef to assist you with recipes, such as sun-dried tomato pesto pasta, shrimp caprese, and spinach manicotti marinara.

Attend Mass
Attending mass allows you and your child to unite, to receive God, and ask for forgiveness. You and your child can recite the St. Charles prayer:

“Almighty God, you have generously made known to human beings the mysteries of your life through Jesus Christ your Son in the Holy Spirit. Enlighten my mind to know these mysteries which your Church treasures and teaches. Move my heart to love them and my will to live in accord with them. Give me the ability to teach this Faith to others without pride, without ostentation, and without personal gain. Let me realize that I am simply your instrument for bringing others to the knowledge of the wonderful things you have done for all your creatures. Help me to be faithful to this task that you have entrusted to me. Amen.”

Tell His Story
Your child should know the parish saint in which their school is named after. Tell his story and allow his legacy to live on through your child. Catholic Online sells a coloring book that tells the stories of the Saints. It comes in a downloadable digital PDF, a perfect resource that will definitely allow your child to understand his legacy!

Be Inspired
St. Charles spent much of his life dealing with disasters like the plague and famine. In one day, he fed more than 3,000 people. Coordinate a food drive and donate the items to a local food bank. Additionally, St. Charles constantly kept his nose in many books, specifically the Holy Scripture. Read the Bible with your child before they go to sleep or take them to the library to choose new children’s books.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

International Day of Peace

Peace is more than a feeling or a state of being; it’s a fruit of the Spirit. God-given peace is the kind of peace that transcends understanding and allows us to find peace in any situation regardless of the circumstances. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic School, reflects on the meaning of peace and how to find it in difficult situations.

As we celebrate International Day of Peace, remember why we are even able to experience true peace in the first place. It is best illustrated in the following verse: “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” — John 16:33

This verse references one of our core beliefs as Catholics, that Jesus has overcome the world by dying on the cross and saving us from our sins. Because of this selfless act, we can experience eternal life and can set our eyes on heaven. This verse isn’t denying that we won’t encounter trouble or hardship, but it reminds us of a greater hope.

How to Have Peace in Difficult Situations
Of course, it is easier to have peace when everything in your life is going well. But what about when life is just plain hard and it doesn’t seem like you can catch a break?

Let Go and Let God
Tough situations that you don’t have control over present the perfect opportunity to strengthen your faith. Remember that God is bigger than any struggle or hardship you face. Surrender to God, and recall all the times He’s come through for you in the past.

Prayer
Our God is a personal God and he sends the Holy Spirit so that we can spend time with him through prayer. We can pray about the tough situations we are in, and pray for the peace the Holy Spirit gives. Philippians 4:6-7 states to not to worry about anything, but instead to pray about everything. God may not always answer our prayers how we’d like, but we can trust Him and His timing.

Worship
Singing is like praying twice. Responding to hardships with worship is unexpected, but it can help call peace over your situation. Under difficult circumstances, let your faith draw you closer to God, and be an inspiration to others. Not only will it deepen your faith, but the faith of the people around you. 

When you have peace within yourself, it’s something that people around you can experience. Start with yourself and then let the peace overflow into your communities. St. Charles Borromeo, one of the Orlando Catholic School, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Gardening With Genesis 1:29


The very first foods mentioned in the Bible came from the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve ate the ideal diet of plant foods given to them by God.
Genesis 1:29 says “ God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your foodCatholic schools in Orlando explain the importance of plant foods, its connection to the Scripture, and how you can start your very own garden.

Garden of Eden
The very first diet given to us consisted of plants. A plant-based meal includes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and more. These foods are very often known to be very nutritious and help your child live a longer life. But skip purchasing them at the grocery store — instead, create your own garden at home!


Starting Your Own Garden
Starting your own little Garden of Eden with your little one is a great way to bond and save money on groceries. Getting their little hands dirty is rewarding. But knowing where to begin is difficult. Start small and then let it grow. 

Choose a Spot
First, pick a spot in the yard. All vegetables need up to eight hours of sunlight per day. The space must be flat because it’s both not easy and more time-consuming to work with a sloping garden. 

Clear the Sod and Work the Soil
Once you find your spot, clear the ground by getting rid of the sod covering the area. The more fertile the soil is, the better your food will grow. Residential soil usually needs a boost, so add organic matter, such as compost, dry grass clippings, or decayed leaves. Work the soil by tilling and digging

Choose Your Veggies
Head to your local garden store and start shopping! Choose plants that can adapt to your soil, sunlight, and climate. Here are a few great plants for beginners:

  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers


Research which fruits and vegetables tolerate what temperatures. For instance, tomatoes prefer warmer temperatures, whereas kale tolerates the cold. Once they grow, there’s no greater feeling. Imagine the smile on your child’s face when he accomplishes this great goal! Now it’s time to eat!

St. Charles Borromeo, one of the Catholic schools in Orlando, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Get a Little Greener for Earth Day

As Earth Day gets closer, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk to your family about how we can take small steps every day to protect the environment. From grocery shopping to traveling, it’s easy to conserve energy and resources. Take a look at these creative tips to go a little greener every day:

Shop smarter: Purchase from businesses that support eco-friendly and fair trade practices. Don’t be afraid to read labels and ask how something was made or what an ingredient is. Your weekly Publix trip isn’t just a chance to check off your grocery list; it’s a chance to show what you want to see more of in the market.

Proper disposal: If you have chemical-heavy items such as used batteries, old cell phones, or paint thinner, Earth911 can help you find locations near you that accept and recycle all sorts of materials.

Cleaning products: Rather than using paper products to clean, opt for sponges, washcloths, and towels, which are less expensive, reusable, and easily disinfected with hot water. Baking soda and vinegar are also great non-toxic, budget-friendly options! If the vinegar smell bothers you, follow it up with a bit of lemon juice.

The stove: When you use a lid to cover a pot on the stove, you not only boil your water faster, but you can reduce your energy by up to two-thirds. And if you’re able to prepare multiple foods in the same pot, you can save energy as well.

Get recycling: If you go to the America Recycles Day website, you can enter your zip code and join a community-wide recycling event close to you.

Pest repellents: Did you know that coffee grounds are an easy eco-friendly alternative to pest repellents? Sprinkle these around ant-prone areas and you’ll reap the benefits without suffering from toxic fumes.

Use rainwater: Create a simple, DIY rainwater harvesting system to collect water run-off for your lawn and garden. All it takes if a 50-gallon barrel, a filtering screen, and a spigot. You can collect up to 150 gallons with every rainstorm!

When traveling: If you don’t wash your sheets and towels every day at home, why should you do it when you’re traveling? Leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hotel room door to prevent the housekeeping staff from cleaning your room every day, which will help conserve cleaning supplies, water, and electricity.

Power strip: Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use. If it takes too much time to unplug each device manually, use a power strip that can turn off multiple devices at once.

St. Charles Borromeo, a private school in Orlando, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

 

The Importance of Holy Saturday

The Easter season and Holy Week are sacred, important times of the year. It’s an opportunity for us to remember the last week that Jesus spent walking on Earth and prepare our hearts for His return. Each day of Holy Week is special, and by understanding the importance of Holy Saturday, we can fully appreciate the sacrifice He made for us.

What Happened on the First Holy Saturday?
Holy Saturday is a day of both joy and sadness as we reminisce on the day that Jesus laid in the tomb. Luke 23:56 mentions that the women returned home “and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to ensure that the disciples wouldn’t steal His body.

The History
This was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted in the early days of the Church. In the second century, people fasted for the entirety of the 40-hour period between nightfall on Good Friday and dawn on Easter Sunday. In the reign of Constantine in the fourth century, the tradition of the vigil began.

At dusk, the vigil began with the lighting of the “new fire,” which included a large number of lamps and candles and the Paschal candle. The Paschal candle is made of white wax, marked with a cross and an alpha and omega, and represents leading people out of the darkness and into the celebration of the Easter vigil.

What Happens at the Easter Vigil?
When we celebrate Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil Mass, we meditate on God’s good works and thank Him for the price Jesus paid. In the early church, Holy Saturday and the vigil of Pentecost were the only days baptism was administered. While we don’t follow that now, the Easter Vigil Mass is still an important night for those who have spent months of preparation to be received through Baptism and Confirmation into the Church.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Lent Around the World

When we think of Lent in the United States, we often think of abstaining from meat, giving up something we enjoy, or adding in a spiritual practice. But there’s a huge range and variety of Lenten (and Pre-Lenten) traditions in other cultures! Find out a bit about what the rest of the world enjoys during this Holy season.

Denmark
In Denmark, locals celebrate “Fastelavn” the Sunday before Lent begins. On this day, everyone enjoys eating cream or jam-filled pastries, and children dress up in costumes and beat a barrel filled with candy (similar to a piñata). The two children who successfully break the barrel open are crowned “Cat King” and “Cat Queen.” Believe it or not, this is because the barrel didn’t always hold candy — it used to hold a live cat!

British Isles
Did you know that the British Isles have a long-famous Lenten tradition of eating hot cross buns? The cross marking on the bun symbolizes Jesus’ crucifixion, while the spices in the dough represent His embalming.

Greece
“Kathari Thetera,” or Clean Monday, commences the Lenten season. The Sunday beforehand, people attend a special evening Mass and ask for forgiveness to start Lent with a clean soul. This holiday also signifies the end of a month of carnival celebrations that take place throughout the country leading up to Lent! Clean Monday is a public holiday, and families enjoy the day at the beach or countryside, often flying kites.

Germany
What we know as Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus’ last supper with His Apostles. This day is called Green Thursday (or Grundonnerstag in Germany). There are a variety of speculations as to why this is, but a common one is that since we’ve historically abstained from eating meat, this day is full of green foods and vegetables.

The United Kingdom
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is a day to indulge and feast before the beginning of Lent. But it’s not just about eating pancakes — in Britain, locals enjoy pancake races every year! Members of Parliament and the House of Lords compete in an annual charity race around Victoria Gardens, and each contestant must complete a full lap without dropping the pancake out of their frying pan (although many admit to stuffing extra pancakes in their pockets), all while wearing an apron and white chef’s hat.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Ash Wednesday

Every year, we gather on Ash Wednesday to receive ashes on our forehead — but do we truly understand the importance of what we’re doing? Learn more about Ash Wednesday and how we prepare for the Easter season and Jesus’s resurrection.

Why Ashes?
Ashes help us remember Genesis 3:19, which tells us that we came from dust, and to dust, we will return. We participate in recognition that we need to repent, turn away from our sin, and be faithful to the Gospel. Ashes serve as a reminder that we are given eternal life through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Where Do The Ashes Come From?
The ashes that mark your forehead come from the blessed palm branches that were used for the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass. The ashes are sprinkled with holy water and blessed with prayers that are thousands of years old.

The Original Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday marks Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and everyone gathered to celebrate his arrival by waving palm fronds. This was the beginning of the final seven days of Jesus’s earthly ministry.

Preparation
Ash Wednesday signifies our preparation for Holy Week and the resurrection of Jesus. We come to God and ask for mercy, forgiveness, and compassion, and we repent of our sins. By doing so, in 40 days, we are able to celebrate Easter with the joy that God intended!

Ashes in the Bible
Over 40 passages in the Bible associate ashes with grief and mourning. In the Old Testament, people used ashes as a sign of repentance. Daniel 9 says that Daniel “turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes,” and Job 42 shows that Job repented “in dust and ashes.” The Ninevites did the same when Jonah came to them. In Esther 4, Mordecai learns of Haman’s plan to destroy the Jewish people and tears his clothes, puts on sackcloth and ashes, and “went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly.”

Don’t Wash Them Away
In the Middle Ages, ashes were not drawn in a cross on the forehead; they were sprinkled across the head. Now, we leave them on our head as a sign of humility. This is a great opportunity to talk to the people in your life about your faith!

St. Charles Borromeo, a private school in Orlando, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.