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January 12, 2022 

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

An examination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.' legacy turns up what may be the perfect springboard into a discussion of "Ardent Love of Neighbor," Notre Dame's Marist "core value" for the school year.

Captured in a moment of reflective thought, the figure of Dr. King, sculpted by renowned artist Master Lei Yixin, serves as the forward element of the Stone of Hope sculptural installation at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. (National Park Service – U.S. Department of the Interior)

Monday, January 17, 2022, marks the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency established in 1993 to engage Americans in service through various programs, this milestone is a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service to our neighbors.

(More on Dr. King below.)

Here at Notre Dame, the holiday also gives us a great opportunity once again to consider how well Dr. King would fit in with our school community, which currently is exploring year three of our four-year journey through the Marist Way, "Ardent Love of Neighbor." The Marists teach that life is always oriented toward love of neighbor and we learn from the Early Church how to be instruments of God’s mercy through hospitality and inclusiveness, both fundamental components of King's legacy.

For Tuesday of next week, Kala Parker, NDPMA's director of diversity and inclusion, is putting together a video that ties together King and Ardent Love of Neighbor. "It will be shown during community time at the upper school and will be available for our lower and middle school students as well," she added.

While Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day off for many in the United States, including those in our Notre Dame community, it is actually a day of service — "a day on, not a day off" — as the U.S. Congress designated in 1994.

From the CNCS: "The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a 'beloved community.'"

Parker adds that the NDPMA community should enjoy the day away from school on Monday, but "enjoy more the opportunity to spend it (safely) in the service of your neighbors — as loving 'Christian people, upright citizens and academic scholars.'"


During the less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, from December 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced. Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.

Drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950s and ‘60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States. While others were advocating for freedom by “any means necessary,” including violence, Martin Luther King, Jr. used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly-impossible goals. He went on to lead similar campaigns against poverty and international conflict, always maintaining fidelity to his principles that men and women everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of the human family.

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Nobel Peace Prize lecture and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” are among the most revered orations and writings in the English language. His accomplishments are now taught to American children of all races, and his teachings are studied by scholars and students worldwide. He is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor and is the only non-president memorialized on the Great Mall in the nation’s capital. He is memorialized in hundreds of statues, parks, streets, squares, churches and other public facilities around the world as a leader whose teachings are increasingly-relevant to the progress of humankind.

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at