Bishop recalls ‘legends’ who inspired him

Bishop recalls ‘legends’ who inspired him
Bishop Dennis Sullivan walks with the faculty on the football field of Paul VI High School, Haddon Township, for the commencement ceremony on June 3. Below, he poses for photos with graduates of St. Joseph High School, Hammonton, on June 4. Also pictured are Father Christopher M. Markellos, Director of Catholic Identity at the school, and Father Michael M. Romano. Photo above by James A. McBride

Bishop Dennis Sullivan walks with the faculty on the football field of Paul VI High School, Haddon Township, for the commencement ceremony on June 3. Below, he poses for photos with graduates of St. Joseph High School, Hammonton, on June 4. Also pictured are Father Christopher M. Markellos, Director of Catholic Identity at the school, and Father Michael M. Romano.
Photo above by James A. McBride

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For four days at the end of May and beginning of June, Bishop Dennis Sullivan went back to school, providing “legendary” wisdom and guidance for the 766 graduates of the six diocesan high schools in the Diocese of Camden.

At Holy Spirit, Absecon; Camden Catholic, Cherry Hill; Gloucester Catholic; Paul VI, Haddon Township; St. Joseph, Hammonton; and Wildwood Catholic, the Camden leader shared his own high school experiences and lessons learned at baccalaureate ceremonies.

Bishop Sullivan graduated from Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx, New York, 53 years ago, and he mentioned the “legends” for him that he remembered from that time, individuals today’s students could recognize in their own lives.

“My parents sacrificed tremendously” for me, he said, and noted that students, as well, should look to their own guardians, in thanks.

“Your graduation is as much their achievement as yours,” he said.

Bishop Sullivan’s “legends” also included teachers, literary (a junior American lit professor who fostered his “love of reading” with classics from O. Henry, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Harper Lee) and musical, who have had a “lifelong influence” on him.

His two classmates who died serving their country in the Vietnam War made up the “stuff of legends,” as did his classmates who perished in the 9/11 attack, either as office workers, or firefighters responding to the scene.

Legends also have seen the “holistic education of mind, body and spirit” that a Catholic school provides, and give back. “Become an involved alum,” he urged.

Bishop Sullivan provided encouragement to the students, who leave the familiar confines of friends and mentors, that they have come to know for the past four years, for the unknown days ahead.

“Have confidence in Jesus’ words of ‘I will be with you always,’” he said. “Have confidence in that promise. Go with God, walk with him, have gratitude, and go with joy in your hearts.”

Also holding baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies recently were the three Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese of Camden run by religious orders: Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Newfield; St. Augustine Preparatory School, Richland; and

Bishop Eustace Preparatory School, Pennsauken.

 

Categories: Catholic School News

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