By Christopher Seibt
Sun contributing writer
In preparation for the New Roman Missal in Advent 2011, Bishop Grimes Prep has first taken an important step back. On March 25 at a faculty in-service day a school-wide project began. Its goal was to remind and, in some cases, teach the faculty, staff and students about the significance of the Mass as a holy sacrifice.
This endeavor centered on the fact that the Mass is the source and summit of the Catholic faith and, therefore, at the very heart of the school. Seminarian Christopher Seibt presented a workshop on the significance, history and structure of the Mass as well as a brief summary of the changes in the translation that will be taking place. Then, on March 28-30 three priests came to Bishop Grimes Prep to teach about the significance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to students.
Father Celentano, an alumnus of Bishop Grimes Prep and the parochial vicar at Ss. John and Andrew in Binghamton, instructed the seventh and eighth grade classes on the vestments that the priest wears for the celebration of the Mass, the meaning of its various parts and the importance of their response and postures. He reminded them that when they are to respond “saying or doing nothing is saying something.”
Father John Manno, president of the school board and administrator at St. James Church in Syracuse, told ninth grade students that when they know something well, like sports and other activities, they are more inclined to participate. He taught them not only what happens at Mass but also why it happens and how they can get involved.
Finally, Father Joseph Clemente, pastor of St. Matthew’s in East Syracuse (the territory in which the school resides) spoke to 10th and 11th graders about the history and structure of the Mass. He taught them that going to Mass and participating well help to keep the connection alive between them and the Risen Lord of Glory.
As this school-wide project continues at Bishop Grimes Prep religion teachers will provide further instruction on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to their students so that they will be able to engage in opportunities of worship and be ready for the changes coming in Advent 2011.
Seibt is a seminarian in his pastoral year at St. James Church and a religion teacher at Bishop Grimes Prep.