Each Friday at 9:00am, our school gathers within our church home and celebrates the miraculous gift of the Eucharist. Our weekly Mass begins with a recitation of a decade of prayers for the Holy Rosary. This Eucharistic celebration is a wonderful way to praise our Lord and offer thanksgiving for the successes and difficulties we experience during the week. A recent Mass provided a special connection to the feast days of March 17 and March 19 for two saintly giants within our Catholic community. During his homily, Fr. Foppiano spoke of the March 17 feast day and the great reverence for Saint Patrick that was brought over to our country when the Irish emigrated to the United States. He then shared a similar, albeit a less recognized cultural connection to Saint Joseph. Father shared of the special relationship Italians hold for Saint Joseph. La Festa San Giuseppe, (the feast of St. Joseph) is celebrated on March 19 and honors the husband to the Virgin Mary and the foster father to Jesus. It is also the day in which Italy celebrates Father’s Day. As a son to a first generation Italian father and a second generation Irish mother, I have long viewed these nearly sequential Holy feast days as a unique and symbolic celebration to the two primary cultures of my family.
As I am proud of the harmonious union of both my Italian and Irish heritages, I am similarly proud of the way in which St. Agnes School seamlessly infuses the foundation of our Catholic faith and our commitment to engender academic knowledge and critical thought into our educational program. In last week’s bulletin article, I referenced the ability of my faculty and their capacity to view each experience as a teachable moment. The days leading up to St. Patrick's Day weekend provided one of those “teachable” experiences in which we provided our students a faith based, cross-curricular, cultural experience. In celebration of the “high holy day” (as my Irish family refer to the feast of Saint Patrick), the students received a very special performance by the Irishman’s Chorale group, Amhránaí Na Gaeilge. The focus of this concert was one part sharing of Irish history and culture; one part revealing the significance of the religious ministry of Saint Patrick, the Bishop of Ireland; and one part a gift of Irish music. Watching Pre-K 3 through 8th grade students attentively and exuberantly enjoy this memorable event was quite a blessing.
I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to Director Les Luco and all of the group members for sharing their enthusiasm for Irish storytelling and music. And a most special note of gratitude to Jerry Melka for generously arranging Amhránaí Na Gaeilge to visit our campus as a fitting way in which to offer a ‘wee bit of Ireland’ in preparation for the celebratory nature of St. Patrick’s feast day. We are truly humbled by the abundance of blessings that the broader community continues to offer St. Agnes School in support of the unique educational experience which we provide to our young people.
We Are…ST. AGNES!