Pope Francis responds to letters from Blessed Sacrament students

Aaron Lambert

Last week, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School received a surprise of papal proportions.

Back in February, Nancy Lowell’s first grade class wrote some letters to Pope Francis. This assignment was two-fold: to show off their newly learned penmanship skills and ask the Holy Father questions only the innocent minds of first graders would think to ask – questions such as asking Pope Francis to tell God to help a student’s cat so they “don’t need to send her back.”

Last week, they got a letter in response from the Vatican.

“We got a response back from his secretary that the Pope read the letters,” Blessed Sacrament principal Dr. Carla Dire Capstick said. He was very impressed with our students and blessed them.”

The letter in response read: “His Holiness Pope Francis was pleased to receive your kind messages. He thanks all of you for writing to him and he is grateful for your prayers. The Holy Father will pray for you and your teachers, and he sends his blessing.”

The kids in Mrs. Lowell’s class were very excited and surprised, as they expressed when 9News interviewed them.

The Vatican responded on behalf of Pope Francis to letters first grade students at Blessed Sacrament sent the Holy Father in February to show off their newly-learned penmanship skills. (Photos by Brandon Ortega)

While it normally can take months to get a response from the Vatican, this one came after just four weeks.

“To get a response as quickly as we did, that these kids could enjoy knowing that the Pope wrote them back and it was a heartfelt response was very impactful and heartwarming for our kids,” Dr. Capstick said.

It was a small gesture from the Pope that made a big impression on the students of Blessed Sacrament.

“A little Catholic school in Denver, Colorado, many thousands of miles away from the Vatican actually had an impact on the Pope,” Dr. Capstick said. “To know he responded is very impactful [in] our Blessed Sacrament community.

“It’s highly likely that we’ve set a tradition that Ms. Nancy Lowell will be doing this annually with her kids once they learn how to write complete sentences.”

To learn more about the exciting things happening in Denver’s Catholic schools, visit denvercatholicschools.com.

COMING UP: Saint John Institute hosts inaugural graduation

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Regina Ramsey was tired of hearing complaints about what’s wrong with the world and what needs to change within the Catholic Church. She wanted to act.

“I decided that I could either join the people talking about the changes that needed to be made or I could do something about it,” said Ramsey.

That’s when she turned to the Saint John Institute — an MBA program run by the Congregation of Saint John centered on the New Evangelization that helps students develop their gifts to become great leaders in the Church.

“An MBA through Saint John Institute seemed to be the right fit because it combined business knowledge with deep spiritual formation,” said Ramsey.

After graduating from the Saint John Institute with fellow student Brianne Schulze on April 15 — the first students to graduate from the program — Ramsey looks forward to centering her daily life on her Catholic faith. She hopes to one day help non-profits utilize business structures to help them with long-term success.

The Saint John Institute isn’t your average MBA program.

“Our program is different from other MBA programs because of the focus on developing an authentic prayer life and spirituality,” said Father Francis Therese Kratter, the program’s chaplain.

Father Nathan Cromley, president of the Saint John Institute, hands Brianne Schulze her diploma at the inaugural graduation ceremony for the institute April 15. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

“We all know deep down that prayer is what makes our lives fruitful, but we rarely devote the time we know we should to this most important activity,” he said.

The Saint John Institute shapes students through two years of monastic prayer and study, said Father Kratter. He believes the success of current and future students steams from a foundation of prayer.

Students like Schulze were attracted to the program because of that spiritual formation.

“I saw the MBA as a necessary challenge to help me gain the practical business skills I needed to be able to evangelize more effectively through my art,” she said.

Schulze is an artist whose goal was to develop her skills and use them to glorify God.

“Art and beauty point to the eternal,” she said, “and I feel I have a responsibility in creating work that does that — work that gives people an opportunity to encounter Christ through the transcendent power of beauty.”

Schulze was deeply inspired by the Brothers of Saint John, who form the students both academically and spiritually.

“They challenged me in my faith and have helped lead me to Christ in a deeper way than I ever thought possible,” said Schulze.

For more information on the Saint John Institute, visit www.saintjohninstitute.org.