Dear MHC Academy Family and Friends,

Merry Christmas MHC Academy Community! I know we are just a few days away but I can't help wishing you God's blessings at this time of year. If you missed it and are looking for some inspiration for the season, check out our Lessons and Carols. We tried something new this year than our regular Christmas concert. We took the accounts from Scripture that highlight Salvation History and the coming of the Savior and followed each one with music. Many family members told me it was the first time they had attended a Lessons and Carols and they were struck by how beautiful and prayerful it was. A heartfelt thank you to all who helped to make this a reality.  

There are many things that can pull at our heart strings this time of year, and for us the passing of Mrs. Marie Hess touches us deeply. Mrs. Hess taught countless students in the science department and was instrumental in the Health Care Connections program. MHC Academy was not just a place where she worked but a home away from home and all those she worked with and taught were a part of her Salesian family. We will miss her tremendously. Sr. Brittany, Director of Advancement and Alumnae Relations, is putting together memories to share with her family, if you would like to contribute click here: Marie Hess Memorial

Christ is with us in all circumstances of our life. He comes in the warmth of the manger and in the trials we face. Let us seek Him always.



The funeral arrangements for our long-time, beloved MHC Academy teacher, Mrs. Marie Hess will be as follows:

Location: Vander May Funeral Home

567 Ratzer Rd, Wayne, NJ 07470


Wednesday, December 27 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM


Thursday, December 28 10:00 AM

Our Lady of Consolation Church

1799 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne, NJ 07470

MHC Academy will also hold a memorial mass on campus in the near future. Please stay tuned for more details.


During the three days leading into Thanksgiving break, the MHC Academy community participated in one of our most anticipated traditions of the year - Intramurals! The four classes competed head-to-head in games such as Volleyball, Chicken in the Hen House, Name that Tune, and Tug of War. At the end of it all, the Seniors emerged victorious. Due to the generosity of our students, we also raised close to $500 for the Father English Food Pantry, through Penny Wars! Some alumnae also stopped by, we always love having them come back for a visit!


On Wednesday, November 29th MHC Academy hosted its 20th Anniversary Autumn Gala honoring the Swartzberg & Muller families and Dr. Odette Harris, Class of 1987. A special thank you to the Gala Committee who organized a magnificent evening which raised funds for the Academy's Financial Aid Fund. The entire Senior class was also invited to enjoy the event and thank our benefactors.


The MHC Academy PTG organized a Holiday Vendor Fair on Saturday, December 2nd. Over 30 vendors came to showcase their wares. From toys to chocolates to clothing, there was something for everyone!


Dr. Odette Harris, recipient of the inaugural "Alumnae of Distinction" Award spoke with the MHC Academy family on November 29th as she recalled her journey from a high-school student to neurosurgeon. In her inspiring talk, she reminded the students, "If you're here, it's because Our Lady chose you to be here. I really believe that. It's empowering." Dr. Harris attended Dartmouth College and then went to Stanford University School of Medicine. She became the first female African-American neurosurgery professor at Stanford and was also named to the 2018 Ebony Power 100 list as a leader in her field.


The choirs from MHC Academy and Don Bosco Prep performed at Radio City Music Hall on Friday, December 1st before the Christmas Spectacular Show. The students then had the opportunity to watch the show and enjoy seeing the live animals, festive costumes and the amazing Rockettes. It was an exciting day to showcase the vocal talents of our students. Congratulations to the choirs and to Ms. Toni Bilotti Cecere for all their hard work!


Students in Dr. DaBronzo's AP Biology Class did a lab on enzyme activity. They observed how the enzyme turnip peroxidase reacts with a substrate hydrogen peroxide for the formation of oxygen. The greater the oxygen produced the greater the enzyme activity - what a fascinating lab!


MHCA's Preview Day has proven once again to be Admissions biggest event of the year. This year was no exception, breaking records for the highest one attended yet! The reason this day is so well received is because it gives our middle school guests an opportunity to see firsthand all that Mary Help of Christians Academy has to offer, plus they feel the Salesian charism coming through.

On November 17th, we welcomed young women traveling from 49 towns, taking a day off from their 39 different private and public schools in both NJ and NY to spend the morning with us. While here guests had the opportunity to attend several classes of their choosing designed and taught by the amazing Mary Help faculty. Class choices ranged from Chemistry, Instrumental Music, TV Production, Culinary, Art, Acting, Healthcare; the list goes on and on. They also were amazed at the talented performances by our own Salesian Voices, Don Bosco Prep Cheer Team, and a spectacular number from our Dance Showcase.

Also, while on campus our guests played games, attended our club fair, socialized with our Mary Help students, made friends from other schools, and of course feasted on a delicious breakfast and snacks. The Salesian family wouldn’t have it any other way. It truly was a great day had by all. 


Campus Ministry hosted a Friendsgiving Oratory night. After a time of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, everyone enjoyed a festive Thanksgiving meal potluck style! Other activities included Bingo, dancing and crafts! Thank you to all who participated and organized this fun event!


On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the MHC Academy community came together for a mass followed by the Junior Ring Ceremony. The junior class consecrated themselves to Mary and received their rings from Head of School, Sr. Kelly Schuster, FMA. May Mary our Blessed Mother always be their guide and their model in faith and purity of heart.


Students for Life of America Regional Coordinator came to campus for a mini Pro-Life Apologetics 101. She spoke about the dignity of human life from conception to natural death and how to properly dialogue with someone who disagrees. She approached the common "hard cases/questions" using science and philosophy. She ended her talk with encouraging words to the students and gifted the Pro-Life club with free resources to use on campus in order to promote and build a culture of life! 


The Holy Spirit was truly at work in Mornese, Italy, where St. Mary Mazzarello set up a sewing shop for girls. She had not met Don Bosco yet, but was already implementing the four pillars of the Oratory Model: the home, the school, the church, and the playground. The girls found a warm welcome in the sewing room and soon some girls began to board there and truly make their home there. Mary and her close friend Petronilla would teach the girls about the love of God and the Blessed Mother. Eventually as their work grew, an official school would be established for the girls. On their way through the town, the girls were encouraged to stop into the chapel and to visit Jesus, in addition to going to Mass and receiving the sacraments. And of course, there were games and outings to show the girls that they could have fun and avoid trouble when surrounded by good friends. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives without us even being aware of it. How can we open ourselves more this month to the guidance and direction that God seeks in our lives?

MHC Academy
659 Belmont Avenue
North Haledon, NJ 07508
P. 973.850-7467
F. 973.790.6125
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