Dear Families of Notre Dame de la Baie Academy,
Greetings! I want to take the opportunity at the beginning of the school year to introduce myself. I am Fr. Brad Vanden Branden, O.Praem., a Norbertine priest of St. Norbert Abbey. I have been appointed as the Chaplain for Notre Dame Academy. The Norbertines of St. Norbert Abbey have a long history of educational ministry in the Diocese of Green Bay, serving in many of Notre Dame’s predecessor schools. I am honored to continue to extend the Norbertine presence and mission for this generation of Notre Dame Academy students.
In my role as Chaplain, I will be working closely with NDA’s campus minister, Mr. Daniel Kriegl, helping our students grow stronger in their love for Jesus and the Church. Along with the current activities that bolster students’ spirituality (e.g. daily Mass, devotions, service trips, retreats, etc.), know that I am another option to help encourage spiritual development in a world that is often convoluted with violence, confusion, and secularism. I’m available to all in the Notre Dame Academy family for conversation, prayer, and sacramental ministry.
However, I foresee my role as Chaplain extending beyond our wonderful student focused campus ministry program. I hope to be a support for you in providing a well-rounded and dynamic education for your student. I’m a firm believer that faith formation ought first to happen at home. As the “Vision Plan” of the Second Vatican Council states, in part, “The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children” (Lumen gentium, 11). Yet, I understand that many parents/guardians don’t know how best to be those “first preachers of the faith.” Please know that I am here to be a resource to you. I’d be happy to share in a conversation and help answer any questions. To see families growing together in faith is important to me. I hope I can be a helpful resource for you in that important project.
Through the efforts of our talented educators, dedicated staff, skilled coaches, and tireless administrators, your student is receiving one of the very best high school educational opportunities out there. I am excited to be a part of this friendly and faith-filled community. I will be on campus Thursdays and Fridays of the Fall 2016 semester; although starting in 2017, I’ll be full time at NDA. Please email me with any thoughts or questions. I look forward getting to know you as the school year unfolds.
Fr. Brad Vanden Branden, O.Praem., Chaplain