By Connie Berry
The students in the diocese’s Catholic schools have at least the rest of the year to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the diocese. Thanks to Heritage Campaign funds through the diocese’s Office of Stewardship and Development, grant money is being made available through the Catholic Schools Office. Superintendent Chris Mominey explained that grants in the amount of $10 per student are available for schools to develop a program or plan to help engage the students in the life of their parish. Part of the plan is to have them learn more about their parishes and the diocese, Mominey said. The money is part of the Catholic Schools program enhancement portion of the Heritage Funds.
“We want to engage the students in the life of the parish,” Mominey said. “They might help with a dinner at the church or with hospitality after Mass. They can also take a field trip to the Cathedral and the archives on exhibit at the Onondaga Historical Association and learn more about their diocese and their bishops.”
A few schools have already signed up for a tour, according to diocesan archivist Mickey Bruce.
“The stained glass windows, the Blessed Marianne Cope mosaic, the bishops’ coats of arms and the crypt where some of our bishops are interred would be considered highlights of the Cathedral tour,” Bruce said. The tour at the Onondaga Historical Association building is a self-guided tour, she explained. “A tour of our Cathedral and a visit to the Onondaga Historical Association to view the 125th Anniversary Exhibit is a wonderful opportunity for our school students to discover more about the rich heritage of our diocese,” Bruce said. Cathedral tours are typically an hour long and include a tour of the crypt.
Besides taking a tour of relevant sites, students will also have curriculum in place to help support their understanding of the history of the diocese. Denise Harrigan’s soon-to-be published text focusing on the bishops’ tenure in the Syracuse Diocese will be the focus of study materials developed in collaboration between Cheryl Canfield of the Catholic Schools Office and Cathy Cornue, diocesan director of the Office of Faith Formation. Cornue said she’s delighted to join with the Catholic schools to develop the curriculum.
“We’ve been doing a lot of collaborating this year,” Cornue said. “I think it’s the right thing to do. We’re all about sharing the faith and we all want the same thing — evangelization.”
Cornue said she can see areas where the curriculum would be especially useful.
“I think it’s interesting how the first bishops were dealing with immigrants from Italy, Germany, Ireland and now we have new immigrants in the diocese,” Cornue said. “That’s one area where I can see some ideas developing. I think the curriculum will also cover questions like, ‘What is a diocese?’ ‘How many bishops did we have?’” She said the curriculum can be adapted to include faith formation students and families who want to grow in their knowledge of the diocese. Call Edward Long, diocesan historian, or Mickey Bruce to schedule a tour of the Cathedral, (315) 470-1493.