First chapel of the new year

Community participates in Martin Luther King Jr. themed chapel


Senior Julia Kearney prepares to read Lectio Divina, or the Divine Reading, for chapel. This chapel was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which occurs next week.

Amrita Rajpal, Reporter

Today during community block, students and faculty celebrated and reflected on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This student-led service included readings from King as well as videos of him speaking.

“I liked the chapel today because I really enjoy hearing Dr. King’s speeches and his wisdom,” sophomore Nandika Bhatnagar said. “Having chapels like this really elevate community spirit and provide us with valuable information,”

During chapel, students listened to an excerpt of King’s “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” speech that he gave to students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia in 1967. King, in his speech, discusses the fundamental principles of dignity, determination, and commitment, according to Memphis Teacher Residency.

“As we embark on a new year, we’ll spend time reflecting on how we want to live differently as individuals, considering Dr. King’s question, ‘What is in your life’s blueprint?’ as our guide,” Community Life Chair Paul Pryor Lorentz said.  “And beyond reflecting on our individual development, we’ll meditate on our Sacred Heart commitment to Goal 4, the building of community as a Christian value,”

Today’s chapel also highlighted the 2017 United States National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. Students and faculty were invited to watch a video of her reciting her poem, “The Hill We Climb”, at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden. 

“Chapel is a fun way to get everyone in the community together and discuss important issues,” junior Scarlett Farr said. “We talk a lot about global issues — today’s chapel, especially, taught me so much about Dr. King,”

Martin Luther King Jr. is an influential leader in American history, according to Best Colleges. His contributions to the racial justice movement and to American democracy make him a worthy and important figure to learn about.

Black History Month, which starts on Feb. 1, was also introduced. This month allows people to understand the significance of Martin Luther King Jr. and other important and historical black figures, according to sophomore Nora Doherty.

“Hearing Amanda Gorman recite her poem again was incredibly powerful,” Bhatnagar said. “She is an amazing poet and I really admire her skill and craft.”