Schools celebrate diocesan anniversary

Schools celebrate diocesan anniversary

Photos by James A. McBride

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Students enter St. Mary Church, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Williamstown, for a schools diocesan Mass to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Diocese of Camden on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Below left, Bishop Joseph A. Galante urges students to “appreciate the gift you have of Catholic education.” Below right, Father Michael Romano accepts the offertory gifts.

WILLIAMSTOWN — The Catholic schools in the Diocese of Camden all came together here on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Our Lady of Peace Parish, St. Mary Church, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the diocese’s founding.

Bishop Joseph A. Galante presided and gave the homily at the Mass, which was celebrated during Catholic Schools Week. Father Michael Romano, director of Vocations, concelebrated with 19 other priests of the diocese.

Some 450 students from diocesan grammar and secondary schools were in attendance along with faculty and parents.

At the beginning of the liturgy, two students from each school processed into the church. Many carried a school banner.

High school students played significant roles in the Mass, with representatives from Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, singing in the choir; from Gloucester Catholic and St. Joseph, Hammonton, serving as lectors; and from Paul VI, Haddon Township, as altar servers.

In his homily, Bishop Galante thanked the teachers and administrators for their work, and he urged the students to “appreciate the gift you have of Catholic education … (which) is about being formed in what it means to be an active Christian Catholic, in learning Jesus’ message, and growing more and more like him.”

He also asked the students to thank their parents and teachers for the sacrifices they make to provide them quality Catholic education.

In reminding the youth that “you are responsible for our future, you will be leaders” in civil and religious life, he asked them if they are “willing to surrender your life to Jesus Christ? Are you willing to live what he asks of us, to grow more and more into him?”

“Let (your Catholic education) be an opportunity to show others the presence of Jesus in you,” he said.

One school parent, Joan Dollinger, saw the immediate impact the liturgy had on her daughter, Elizabeth Dollinger Durstewitz, who represented Wildwood Catholic.

“(My daughter) said the liturgy was amazing,” Dollinger said. “Thank you (Catholic schools) for making a difference in the life of a 17-year-old.”

Categories: Catholic School News

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