Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2004
Year of the Eucharist
By Valerie Elacqua/ SUN contributing writer
St. Mary’s School in Clinton has embraced the “Year of the Eucharist” declared by Pope John Paul II. They have tailored their monthly virtue programs to include a special focus on the Mass and the Eucharist in everyday life as well as a reinforcement of the virtues presented throughout last year’s program. (The Catholic SUN, June 17-23, 2004)
This year’s opening assembly stressed the knowledge of the Mass, its parts, their meaning and the importance of participating fully in prayers and songs. Most importantly, it stressed the gift of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, body, blood, soul and divinity. The entire school also learned sign language to the song “He, who believes in Me.” It expresses belief in the Holy Eucharist as the source and summit of life, and the source of God’s power and grace. Sign language was used to enhance the meaning of the words the children sang.
In November the sixth grade will present a dramatic reenactment of the book The Weight of a Mass: A Tale of Faith by Josephine Nobisso. This original fairy tale, based on a true event, takes place in an 1890s French bakery on the day of a royal wedding. A widow, begging for a crust of stale bread in return for her participation in the Mass, helps reveal the true value of the Mass to all, in a kingdom that has grown careless in the practice of their Catholic faith. The children will perform the play at a variety of venues throughout the community. These creative presentations bring the Eucharist to life and enable the children to feel closer to God. They also continue to foster students on faith formation.
Established in 1965, St. Mary’s School in Clinton originally opened as a parish school staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In 1994, St. Mary’s became a part of the Greater Utica Area Catholic Consolidated School System. The school serves many parishes and families of different faiths from the surrounding communities. St. Mary’s School (pre-k through grade six) is committed to providing a safe, educationally-stimulating atmosphere for the development of well-educated and responsible Christian children. This is accomplished through the integration of values-based, Christian principles and strong academic and extracurricular programs. The administration, parents and students pledge their dedicated efforts and prayers to St. Mary’s family-centered and nurturing environment in which all will share God’s love and help students discover their God-given potential.
Why I Love St. Mary’s School
I like St. Mary’s School because I can learn about God. I can make friends. The teachers show us how to read and learn.
— Shannon Cherpak, grade 2
St. Mary’s School is great. I like the teachers a lot. The principal is nice. The teachers give us lots of homework. I like that. The principal tells us what’s right. I know we need the advice that is right for us. The nurse helps us when we’re hurt and she cares. I like lots of math for homework to do after school and I want to thank my parents too.
— Jessica Scoones , Grade 3
I like St. Mary’s School because the kids are nice. I also like St. Mary’s because they do a lot of activities that are interesting. I like it because it’s Catholic and we follow God and Jesus.
— Alexandra Gale , Grade 3
I love St. Mary’s because we have a lot of great teachers. We have a great principal, a great secretary and a great nurse. We have everyone who makes St. Mary’s a great place. There are fun activities. We practice being a Christian. St. Mary’s is a great place to learn! That’s why I love St. Mary’s!
— Kristen Owens, Grade 4
What I like about St. Mary’s is all the teachers are nice and so are Mrs. Owens and Mrs. DePhillips. Everyone is nice. I remember when I was in Pre-K and my dad was sick and everyone pitched in to give me a new toy. I think that it was so nice of everyone to do that for me. I know I’ll always have a friend when I’m here.
— Andrea Louer, Grade 5
St. Mary’s School Our school is much more Than just desks and chairs It’s students and parents And people who care
It’s where you find teachers Dedicated and kind Who believe in their mission To educate heart and mind
It’s eager students With their curious ways That give hope to the future Of our church each day
It’s the sparkling halls Cleaned with loving care From the kindly custodian Who’s always quietly there It’s a special secretary So patient and kind With caring spirit So hard to find
It’s all the volunteers Who answer our call Whenever there’s a need No task is too small
It’s the gift of parents Whose love of their child Gives life to our school As they go the extra mile
It’s our principal and pastor And parish friends too The great people around us Our gifts back to you
by Holly Gros, kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s