School learning center named for Msgr. McDermott

Bishop Sullivan addresses those gathered at Camden Catholic High School’s opening of its new learning center.
Senior Angela Ebbert in the Cherry Hill school’s new television studio, which she will put to good use as a CCTV anchor.
Photos by James A. McBride

CHERRY HILL — Reminding educators to share “the richness of Catholic faith, so your students may keep the true faith, and live up to it in their lives,” and remarking that the “difference a Catholic education makes in the life of a youth can’t be measured,” Bishop Dennis Sullivan dedicated new library space at Camden Catholic High School here on Sept. 15.

The Hocker Information Commons and the Monsignor Robert McDermott Collaborative Learning Center completed a three-year, $6.2 million capital campaign for the school.

Msgr. McDermott, the retired pastor of Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral Parish in Camden, was a graduate and enthusiastic supporter of the school.

Along with administration, alumni, and current students, friends and family of Msgr. McDermott, Class of 1960, were there to honor his commitment to Camden Catholic’s students. As well, members of the Hocker family were on hand to speak on their foundation’s support of Catholic education.

Pediatrician Dr. John Tedeschi was also recognized for his support of the project, with the naming of the John M. Tedeschi, M.D. Study Space.

The Wi-Fi enabled library, complete with a television studio; state-of-the-art computers and classroom space; and comfortable furniture will “help students in education and formation,” noted Father Joseph Capella, Camden Catholic’s Director of Catholic Identity.

Two siblings of the retired Msgr. McDermott, Denise Culkin (Class of 1978) and Mary Eileen DelGrande (Class of 1972), were present for the dedication, and pleased in the school’s honoring their brother’s legacy.

“As a family, we are proud of him,” Denise said, adding that “education was important to him.”

From funds he collected, and out of his own pocket at times, Msgr. McDermott supported South Jersey’s youth who desired a Catholic education.

“He nourished them, helped them survive and thrive in every way,” she continued.

Future beneficiaries of the library, and current students, will no doubt be served well, just as those supported by Msgr. McDermott, the Hocker family and Dr. Tedeschi have.

“This is awesome; it’ll prepare me for college,” enthused junior Erin O’Callaghan.

Senior Angela Ebbert is most excited for the new television studio, as she is an anchor for the school’s CCTV.

“It’s an honor that we’re being given these opportunities,” she said.