Students gathered for a Lenten book discussion


Jack Shields

Some students who attended the Lenten book discussion received extra credit in their religion class.

Erin Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

BSM works to give students faith-filled opportunities during Lent. This year, in addition to the Lenten masses, BSM hosted a Lenten book club during lunches, and before and after school on April 16.

In preparation for this discussion, students were asked to read Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculée Ilibagiza. “We picked this book because of the timing of Immaculee’s visit to BSM––it was a silver lining to her talk being rescheduled,” Campus Minister and junior high religion teacher Ms. Becca Meagher said.

Ilibagiza was scheduled to talk during Catholic Schools Week, but with the online school, her talk was postponed until yesterday. Thus, BSM offered the book during the Lenten Book Club. “By gathering together to read a book that touches on concepts found in our scripture theme we can enter into a spiritual practice together––even if only for 20 minutes. The community book read offers students and their parents, faculty, and staff an opportunity to dialogue with one another about serious topics in a non-threatening way,” Meagher said.

In addition to the timing, BSM decided to highlight Left to Tell because of its spiritual aspect and faithfulness, especially during the Lenten season. “Not only does this book inform us about a historical event but it teaches about spiritual resilience,” Meagher said.

Students were given the opportunity to attend the book club before and after school, and during lunch. In addition to it being a thoughtful discussion, many students were offered extra credit from their religion teachers. “We talked about the author’s faith and how faith was a palpable character in the book. We discussed the division of the Hutus and the Tutsis; ‘mob’ or ‘crowd’ mentality and personal responsibility; the strength of Immaculee and the other women and the grace from God to persevere,” Meagher said.

Overall, 144 students participated in the discussions offered––it provided an informative experience and a safe environment to discuss difficult topics. “I read the book to get a first-hand account of the Rwandan genocide,” junior Noah Layton said.