Priests Are Added Blessing to Schools

| January 20, 2010

Many of our Catholic schools are blessed to have their curriculums enhanced by the priests serving in their parishes and/or schools.

  • At St. Daniel-St. Matthew Academy in E. Syracuse, three priests, Msgr. Eugene Yennock, pastor of St. Daniel Parish; Fr. Joseph Clemente, pastor of St. Matthew’s Parish; and Fr. Severin Yagazza, parochial vicar of St. Matthew’s, visit the school regulary and teach religion to the students. “The presence of our priests brings a special dimension to our Catholic identity,” said Dc. Joseph Celentano, school principal. “They are a presence that allows our students to meet our priests ‘up close and personal.’”
  • St. Rose of Lima School in No. Syracuse calls its pastor, Msgr. James Kennedy, the “school man,” as he plays an important role in both school and parish. “His love for children is whole-heartedly returned as he makes himself visible on a daily basis in the corridors of the school and in visits to the classroom,” said Principal Sr. Catherine Labouré, OSF. “His presence is welcomed with delight by the children because he always has a joke, riddle or a smile.” Not only does Kennedy serve as a “living Gospel,” but he also teaches religion to first, second and sixth graders at St. Rose on a weekly basis. Said Kennedy of his interaction with the students, “Anyone who needs a lift in spirit should go over to the school for a few minutes. Satisfaction guaranteed.”
  • Holy Cross School in Dewitt is fortunate to have two Jesuit novices come to work in the classrooms. When school began this year, Kevin Hughes and Gil Stockson, young men considering the religious life while studying at St. Andrew’s Hall at Le Moyne College, were assigned to Holy Cross. “The kids love them,” said Holy Cross Principal David Wheeler. “It’s good for the students to see them as ‘regular guys,’ as they work with them in the classrooms or play football with them on the playground. We are pleased to have them here with us.”
  • At St. Joseph’s School in Endicott, students received a special lesson in both vocations and the Spanish language when Fr. Amedeo Guida, parochial vicar at St. James Parish, visited the 7th and 8th grade Spanish class. Fr. Amedeo, who also serves in the Spanish Apostolate Ministry in the Southern Tier, spoke to the students in Spanish about his own vocation experience.
  • The students at St. Patrick’s School in Oneida like to celebrate! Recently, the students surprised Fr. Richard Kapral, the school’s host pastor, with a popsicle birthday party. The students also gave him a spiritual bouquet and sang to him. Fr. Kapral is pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish and St. Joseph’s Parish, Oneida.
  • At St. Margaret’s School in Mattydale, fifth grade students get up close and personal with the Sacrament of Baptism, as Fr. Robert Hyde, pastor, holds an “authentic” Rite of Baptism, from beginning to end, complete with students acting in the roles of parents and Godparents. “This is a moving activity that offers the students a more indepth, personal understanding of the sacrament,” said Principal Susanne Donze.
  • At St. Mary’s School in Cortland, students look forward to saying morn­ing prayer with Fr. Mark Kaminski, pastor, who joins them several times a week for the school’s 25-minute “morning meeting.” Fr. Lukasz Kozlowski, pastoral assistant, also interacts with the students, particularly training altar servers in the proper procedures. “Having the priests in our schools helps the students see a ‘real person’ in the clergy, not someone just up on the altar,” said Principal Susan McInvale. “We always encourage vocations here at St. Mary’s, and I think the example of our priests makes our students say, ‘I could be like that someday.’”
Students at St. Margaret’s School in Mattydale learn about the Rite of Baptism by role playing with Fr. Robert Hyde, pastor.

Students at St. Margaret’s School in Mattydale learn about the Rite of Baptism by role playing with Fr. Robert Hyde, pastor.


Category: Catholic Identity

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