ONEIDA — Holy Cross Academy recently celebrated the first visit of Bishop Douglas J. Lucia, Bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse, to the Oneida junior-senior high school. The occasion was the blessing of a new side chapel for the permanent reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. Bishop Lucia celebrated Mass attended by students, teachers, staff, and families. Members of the Third Degree Knights of Columbus of Oneida Council #473 led the entrance procession preceding the Mass.

Following Mass, Bishop Lucia greeted individual attendees as they left the chapel and received a Holy Cross T-shirt presented by students. Everyone enjoyed a luncheon in the school cafeteria where they were able to celebrate on a more personal level with their new Bishop, who awarded them his gift of a “Bishop’s Day Off.”

“We appreciate the visit of Bishop Lucia and his kindness in allowing Holy Cross to reserve the Blessed Sacrament and finding time in his busy schedule to visit the school. Our new side chapel, built by parent Mark Judge, is a beautiful addition to the spiritual development of our students,” said principal Teri Maciag. “We will treasure it for years to come.”

Assisting the bishop with Mass were teacher Deacon James Chappell and a group of seven student altar servers coordinated by teacher Ellen Gigliotti, who also prepared the readers and gift bearers. Music was sung by the school’s select choir, led by music director Roselle Lynch, and the newly formed men’s Schola directed by teacher Alfonso Sandoval. Accompanists were Bernadette Van Valkenberg on piano, Margo Neth on flute, and Noelle DiRuzzo on violin. (Submitted by Teri Maciag)

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