June 6, 2013

Year in Review

As I mentioned in the previous post, I just mailed my annual year in review letter to all the priests in the Diocese of Manchester.  As I was composing the letter I was struck by how much our students did this year.  Take a look:

  • Celebrated school-wide Masses on holydays and special occasions.  Bishop McCormack and Fathers Ray Ball, John Bucchino, OFM, Richard Dion, John Fortin, OSB, Jason Jalbert, Chris Martel, Paul O’Brien (Archdiocese of Boston), Charles Pawlowski were our celebrants.
  • Hosted monthly Sunday Night Masses and dinners/fellowship for Trinity families.
  • Held retreats for the faculty, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors at the start of the academic year.  Most were held at parishes and Saint Anselm College to connect our students with the wider diocesan community.
  • Students and faculty composed the daily prayers that are recited at the start of each school day.
  • Launched a Facebook prayer wall where community members could post their prayer requests.
  • Distributed symbols of faith to students at various points in the year: freshmen received a Bible, sophomores a rosary bead, juniors a Tau cross, and seniors a candle.
  • We took three students on a Kairos retreat with students from BC High to learn how to conduct the retreats at our school.
  • Had periodic opportunities for confession in the school chapel.
  • Students wrote the names of their beloved dead on cards that were placed in the chapel during the month of November.
  • At the conclusion of each session of Driver’s Education, I presented the students with a medal of Saint Christopher and offered a special prayer for their protection as they begin driving.
  • We offered prayer services during Advent, including on on the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe.  We purchased a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe which now hangs outside our gym.
  • We hosted Lucernarium (Night Prayer) and a social during Advent.
  • Following our Catholic Schools Week Mass in February we had the Blessing of Throats.
  • On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, students and faculty who were ill were invited to come to the chapel for a special prayer and to bless themselves with water from Lourdes.
  • Over 40 students took part in a Holy Thursday pilgrimage, visiting the Blessed Sacrament at 5 parishes and then enjoyed ice cream at the Puritan Backroom.
  • in August 7 students travelled to Saint Francis Inn in Philadelphia spending a week serving the poorest of the poor while praying and living in community amongst Franciscans, religious sisters, and lay volunteers.
  • Served dinner on a few occasions at Cor Unum Meal Center in Lawrence, MA
  • On the first Thursday of each month students, teachers, and parents helped serve dinner at New Horizons of New Hampshire
  • On the third Monday of each month students assisted at the Saint Raphael’s Parish Food Pantry
  • Sponsored a canned food drive to benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank.  Students donated just under 2,000 pounds of food.
  • Helped clean up after the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund fundraiser
  • Took students on a tour of the New Hampshire Food Bank and New Horizons to learn about their work
  • Hosted Father Bill DeBiase, OFM of Saint Francis Inn in Philadelphia.  Father Bill spoke with the juniors about social justice and had a surprise reunion with Bishop Libasci.  Father Bill and Bishop Libasci grew up in the same parish in Queens and the bishop served Father Bill’s first Mass!
  • Over 100 students (including students from Saint Joseph Regional Junior High School) took part in our annual Cardboard City event in October.  The students slept outside to raise money for New Horizons.  The students raised $7,277.00.
  • Collaborated with the charity of a Trinity family to collect kits to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornado.
  • We organized our annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive to benefit the food pantries of Blessed Sacrament and Transfiguration parishes.  Our families donated over 450 baskets of food.
  • We hosted a talk by Mr. Bob Curley of Cambridge, MA whose son Jeffrey was murdered in 1997.  Mr. Curley was an advocate for the death penalty but has changed his mind and travels to speak about his opposition to the death penalty.
  • Students paid $2 to dress down in December with the proceeds ($668.15) going to New Horizons.
  • We hosted a baby shower to benefit Our Place of Manchester.  The amount of items collected filled an entire Chevy Suburban.
  • Students took part in mission trips to Blackfeet Nation in Browning, MT and Guatemala City over April vacation.
  • In July 6 students travelled with me to Buffalo, NY at the annual Lasallian Youth Assembly, a gathering of high school students from Lasallian high schools (Trinity is a former Lasallian school).  This is a week long event consisting of prayer, service, and fellowship.  
  • I had the honor of speaking to 5th and 6th graders at Saint Christopher School’s annual Vocation Day.
  • New Horizons honored our students for their work at Cardboard City with a special recognition at their Thanksgiving breakfast.
  • Over 90 students and family members spent a Saturday in December in New York City.  Everyone spent the day shopping and sightseeing and we topped off the day with Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
  • We presented Ms. Betty Kudrick of our math department with the 2nd annual Bishop Leo O’Neil Award at our Advent/Christmas Mass at Saint Anthony’s Church in Manchester.
  • We celebrated Catholic Schools Week with different “honorees” each day: faculty and staff were honored on Monday with a social, parents were given coffee and donuts as they dropped off their children on Tuesday, our students were given a dress down day and ice cream on Wednesday, we honored our poor on Thursday by making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for New Horizons, and we honored God on Friday with Mass.  In addition we worked with students from area schools to compose a prayer that all the schools prayed at their Masses during this week.
  • We took part in a radio ad for New Hampshire Catholic schools that aired on WZID.
  • Nearly 100 Trinity students, parents, and teachers took part in the March for Life in Washington, DC.
  • We hosted a concert by the Boston Black Catholic Choir on Washington’s Birthday in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Over 40 students participated in a Skype Q&A session with Archbishop Gerald Lacroix ’75.
  • Mr. Joe Donnelly of our science department found a way to make black and white smoke which he let off during the papal elections.
  • 5 students visited Catholic TV in Watertown, MA to attend the daily TV Mass and the live broadcast of “This Is The Day.”
  • We hosted Grandparent’s Day for over 250 grandparents and grandchildren.  We celebrated Mass, gave tours of the school, and had a luncheon.
  • Two Nashville Dominican sisters visited Trinity and spoke to the freshmen and sophomores about religious life.
  • We hosted the main reception following the ordination of our former campus minister Father Andrew Nelson.

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