St. Ambrose Academy banks on prayers Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Meg Matenaer, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
MADISON -- St. Ambrose Academy (SAA) marked the start of its seventh year by launching a spiritual capital campaign that has already borne much fruit.

The campaign, a drive for spiritual support for the school, began early in September as hundreds of letters and postcards were mailed to the school’s supporters. St. Ambrose Academy encouraged its community to offer up prayers and sacrifices for the school and then anonymously record that spiritual capital on the school’s Web site. The campaign will continue throughout the academic year.

At the time of writing, the school has had 461 rosaries, 117 hours of Adoration, 92 Divine Mercy Chaplets, and 72 priestly Masses, as well as other prayers, offered up on its behalf. Additionally, numerous slots in the school week vigil have been filled.

St. Ambrose development director Paul Matenaer is pleased with how the campaign is going, noting that the “campaign has already brought people together to pray for the school, its faculty, students, and families.”

Matenaer created the campaign in order to ensure that the school’s spiritual foundation remained strong during this year of growth in enrollment, with the school having its largest sixth grade class to date and a record 56 students enrolled. He was inspired by Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Matenaer said, “As the school is growing, we want to keep our spiritual identity and ground the school and community in prayer.”

St. Ambrose president David Stiennon thanked the community for its “generous” response to the campaign in a letter posted on the school Web site. He wrote, “It is only with the continual outpouring of God’s grace that we can maintain this environment, and your prayers for our school community are an immeasurable help.” He noted that the Second Vatican Council “entreated all the faithful ‘to spare no sacrifice in helping Catholic schools fulfill their function in a continually more perfect way.’”

In addition to logging prayers for the school, priests and religious praying for the school may post encouraging comments for the students and staff online. Sr. M. Victoria Heiderscheidt of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Waukesha wrote, “SAA is teaching you the art of Christian living. Say a prayer of gratitude for those who are making this education possible for you, especially your parents.”

Marilyn Zipsie, mother of two St. Ambrose students, said that as a parent it is “very comforting” to know that the school is being based in prayer. She added, “With that much grace being channeled, good things will come from it.”

To sign up to pray for St. Ambrose Academy, visit


Please support our advertisers: