Burlington and Mercer County schools open Catholic Schools Week with Bishop O’Connell

The campus of Burlington County’s only Catholic high school — Holy Cross Academy in Delran — was buzzing with a lot of smiles and energy the morning of Jan. 30 as students eagerly awaited the arrival of some very special guests to help them kick off their celebration of Catholic Schools Week.

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Topping the list of guests was Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., who was invited to celebrate a Mass for the Holy Cross community as well as for the busloads of grammar school students from Burlington and Mercer Counties who were also asked to join in the day’s festivities. Also on hand were a number of priests serving in parishes who concelebrated the Mass, diocesan officials including JoAnn Tier, Margaret Boland and Daniel O’Connell from the Catholic Schools Office, as well as parents, grandparents and graduates who were very proud and happy to return to their alma mater.

“Today, every diocese in the United States begins the celebration of Catholic Schools Week,” said Bishop O’Connell. “For our Church, Catholic schools are an important part of its ‘Good News.’

“Catholic schools enable all students, some of whom are not Catholic, to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, to learn about him, to read and hear the Gospel, to learn how to pray and love him, to grow in faith and to see how faith in the Lord Jesus can make a great difference in our lives and in our world,” said Bishop O’Connell. “Those are the things that make us unique among schools in our country, things that fill us with joy and peace as a Catholic school community.”

An Exciting Week • Dennis Guida, principal of Holy Cross Academy, left, and a contingent of students greet Bishop O’Connell who celebrated Mass as part of the school’s Catholic Schools Week observance. Craig Pittelli photo

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