“It is about using the talent God gave you, doing your best, and using that talent to teach others about faith.” This is what Mr. O’Brien tells his Scripture classes each year when he assigns the now-famous Scripture Timeline Project “Extravaganza.” Brother Patrick Cahill, S.M. puts the project into a great perspective: “I think this project is an extension of our mission as Scripture teachers—to help the Scriptures come alive for our students! Mary is a great model of faith, and just as she brought Jesus, the Word of God, into the world, we too are called to share the Good News of the Scriptures with our students and the whole world.”
This is the twelfth year of this project, but this year would end being quite different (much different than anticipated when it was assigned in mid-January). Normally in the spring in the school’s lobby, you would be able to see the creativity and the hard work the freshmen put into these projects.
As Mr. O’Brien states, “I actually felt bad seeing these projects in videos and pictures via Schoology because I always look forward to setting them up in the lobby, and seeing the smiles on the faces of freshmen when they show off their project to their friends and classmates.” However, that did not stop the Scripture students from stepping up to the plate this year.
All of the Scripture teachers agreed about the hard work that the students put in despite the state of the world amidst this pandemic. Mrs. York was impressed with how tech-savvy the kids were. “One thing I took this year that I hadn’t in years past was the ability of the students to be able to utilize the technology to share their projects.” Mr. O’Brien comments, “I thought the projects this year were amazing! In most cases, you would not even know the circumstances surrounding the world right now. To see pictures of projects taking up basements and dining room tables showed that families had something to be happy about, work on, talk about.”
Mr. Moran shares the same sentiments, “It was great to see the creativity of the students. It was very cool to see the projects laid out on kitchen tables, in the students’ backyards, or on display in their garage.” Bro. Pat said, “This year required some extra creativity on our students’ part. They demonstrated great patience as school closed down and persevered to create some really outstanding projects.”
Freshman Angelina Scalice ’23 felt that the project was well worth her time despite the current situation. “Doing the Scripture Timeline Project Extravaganza during quarantine was— well, it was an extravaganza. The circumstances made it so that I had to find different ways to get materials and adapt my project accordingly, but I didn’t let it bring me down. It was just more of a reminder that in times like these, God is with us!”
For many of the teachers and students, they see this project as a culmination of their freshman year, a rite of passage, so to speak. On an academic level, the Timeline Project encourages the students to think back through the Old Testament to see how God has been at work from the very beginning of Creation in order to prepare us for the coming of Jesus, which they learn about in the New Testament.
The project is about synthesizing information and events learned in the Old Testament and showing how it relates to the birth of Jesus. Freshman Lily Anne Darcy comments, “Throughout my experience of creating my scripture project, I focused on the major theme of God forgiving His people and giving His people second chances. I created a mini-golf course to show that sometimes our shots go astray. I learned about many times where God forgives and redirects people throughout the Old Testament. I am glad God allows his people to reflect on and correct their mistakes. Most of all I am happy ‘God Gives Mulligans.’”
Many of the upperclassmen still talk about their creations and the pride in seeing it in the lobby and showing it off to their families at the Communion Breakfasts, after sporting events, etc. Simply, seeing these projects adorn the lobby each year brings back memories for the seniors, juniors, and sophomores. This year is definitely different as the projects will not be decorating the lobby, but instead gracing Instagram and the Kellenberg website.
Ninth-grader Brian Bernic said, “The freshman scripture project was probably the most fun that I’ve had all year because it allowed me to make something fun out of the Old Testament. The imagination is a wonderful device that allows us to live in a world that doesn’t exist, and this project allows people to do just that, bringing the foundation of faith to a whole new level.” And in times like this a little imagination is not a bad thing.
Mrs. York believes the students take so much pride in what they create for a few reasons. “One reason is that this project spans a few months, and the students put in a lot of work and effort. They know that we take their projects seriously and appreciate all their work. This year, especially, I could tell that the students were very eager to share their projects with us. Since the start of remote learning the students wanted to turn their projects in.” When they did turn them in they did such an amazing job! Submitting and grading these projects was a great boost to teachers and students alike during this difficult time in the world. Great work by the Class of 2023!