Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

LIFE Day comes back to life for good

Lindsey Dimaya
(Right) Teacher Monika Kelly throws to a teammate from the class of 2026. Lancers walked to a nearby park and played games, as part of the LIFE Day activities. The games encouraged class bonding and team work in a non-academic setting.

For the second time since the pandemic hit, Sacred Hearts Academy students experienced a traditional LIFE Day–with a liturgy, walk to a nearby park and field games. This yearly Catholic celebration was put on hold, then went through many evolutions, as it adjusted to COVID-19 regulations. Despite this, LIFE Day has held strong through all of the changes and, coordinators say, is finally coming back to life for good.

“What I enjoyed the most was to see young people engaged,” Head of Campus Ministry and alumna Sr. Katherine Francis Miller said. “(They were) engaged in their faith, engaged in their belief in Jesus Christ and the power of Jesus Christ to change lives and to influence the world in which we live.” 

Since 1983, students at the Academy have grown their faith by celebrating LIFE Day, which stands for Living In Faith Experience. In collaboration with the Academy’s brother school Saint Louis School, several Catholic schools in California and other mainland states, the youth program was created. Its goal is to help students serve their community as Christian leaders. 

“What’s so amazing about LIFE Day is that it’s the whole school,” senior and LIFE Team member Kaiulani Ferrer said. “I feel like LIFE Day is a chance not only to bond with your class but also to bond with the school.”

Students from the Academy’s Middle and Upper Schools participated in this event. They walked one mile from the Kaimuki campus to Kapaolono Community Park. From the rowdy flag football games to the chill volleyball games for over 200 participants, there was a lot of fun for everyone. In the years before the pandemic, the event was at Kapiolani Regional Park and, most recently, Palolo Valley District Park. 

Juniors from the class of 2025 challenge each other to a tug of war match. LIFE Day brings together the Middle School and Upper School students with a day outside. (Lindsey Dimaya)

“I enjoyed being able to play games with people that you normally wouldn’t interact with during the school day,” freshman Sage Nguyen said. “You were able to team up with them–playing dodgeball, tug of war– and really get to know them on a personal rather than academic level.”

To start the day, the students at the Academy took part in a liturgy. After gathering in the gym, they sang their favorite worship songs. Following this was a skit performed by students about resisting temptation and turning to Jesus, who is always by their side. 

In the spring of 2020, COVID-19 shook the world and pushed it into a pandemic. During this time, the school put a halt to LIFE Day. 

(They were) engaged in their faith, engaged in their belief in Jesus Christ and the power of Jesus Christ to change lives and to influence the world in which we live.

— Sr. Katherine Francis Miller, Head of Campus Ministry

“It was a pandemic, and it was everybody’s first time learning virtually,” said Ferrer, who was a freshman at the time. “(The Academy) did a good job with what they could, but I feel like an in-person LIFE Day gives students a chance to bond more and to become closer as a school.”

“Over Zoom, it’s not quite the same as being there face-to-face,” Miller said. Once COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in 2021, we were able to walk around campus and then participate in virtual activities. Last year, we returned to an in-person walk to a nearby park.”

With so many involved, this event did not happen without preparation. As a LIFE Team member in charge of planning and leading, Ferrer said, “Preparing for LIFE Day took a lot of work. I know all the LIFE Team girls, including me, used a lot of our breaks…and lunches to plan out the activities and to make sure that everybody would be safe and have fun.”

The activities surrounded this year’s LIFE Day theme, which was meant to raise awareness about water scarcity. Each year, the theme is based on a social issue. 

Currently, the Academy is the only Catholic school in the state to participate in LIFE Day, according to Miller. There are 40 institutions worldwide that also host similar LIFE festivities.

Miller said, “The main thing is that we are truly being disciples of Jesus. Like Jesus said, ‘Go forth into all the world and make them disciples,’ and that’s what we’re doing.”

For more LIFE Day coverage, check out this Photo Essay.


Sacred Hearts Academy students experienced a traditional LIFE Day this year, after the pandemic put a pause on the annual Catholic event. Video by Paige Lum '24.
About the Contributors
Mahina Monsarrat-Ohelo
Mahina is a second-year Journalism student and a junior at the Academy. In this year of Journalism, she hopes to strengthen her writing skills and expand her vocabulary. In her free time she enjoys working out, paddling, and listening to music. One fun fact about Mahina is that she listened to over 156,500 minutes of music last year.
Lindsey Dimaya
Lindsey Dimaya, Reporter
Lindsey is a first-year Journalism student and is a junior at the Academy. Lindsey is also a part of the Chaminade Early College Program. Lindsey hopes to be able to learn more about the Journalism aspect of media since they already love the video and editing aspect. Besides that, Lindsey also performs for the Pacific Academy of Performing Arts. Because of the program, Lindsey now can do the splits and an axle.
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