LEWISTON---“I see, so the marshmallows hold the toothpicks on the outside to form the cube.”
“That’s right, bishop.”
On a trip dedicated to spending time with students, Bishop Robert Deeley became one during his tour of Saint Dominic Academy’s Lewiston campus on Wednesday, January 31 (additional pictures below). Bishop Deeley learned what the students (PK-Grade 6) have been up to, and even participated in some of their current projects.
“Now, we’ve got the hang of it!” said the bishop as he worked with a team of third graders to complete a geometry lesson involving the building of a tower with marshmallows and toothpicks.
After the tower was finished, Bishop Deeley was awarded with a “Superstar” sticker which he proudly wore for the remainder of his visit.
In second grade, he fielded questions that were written by students and posted onto a board. Many were about his background and life as a bishop, but some were about the vestments he wears in church.
“Why do I carry a big stick?” the bishop read from one of the cards. “Well, Jesus is our good shepherd and the bishop represents Jesus. So I carry a crozier, the staff that you see, to remind himself and everybody that I am the shepherd of this diocese.”
The first graders told the bishop about their impressive penguins project and had made a large sign for him that listed all the reasons they love attending Saint Dominic Academy.
“So many wonderful things,” said the bishop as he read the sign. “I make new friends, we can pray, my teachers are nice and funny. These are great!”
The pre-kindergarteners gave Bishop Deeley a special art project that they all signed. The bishop also read books to the younger children, including The Land of Many Colors.
“Remember, whether we are blue, green, or purple, everyone has to learn to play together, right?” the bishop said to the nodding kindergarteners.
The bishop’s visit was part of the academy’s celebration of Maine Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 28-Feb. 3), which celebrates the mission of Catholic Schools: to evangelize students by nourishing faith and encouraging academic excellence while accentuating the importance of community and service in a nurturing environment.
Throughout the week, students at both the Auburn (Grades 7-12) and Lewiston campuses have engaged in academic competitions, fun activities, clothing theme days, and special events.
The students were excited to tell the bishop about some of the memorable moments that have occurred as well as others that are still to come, including a schoolwide trip to see Paddington 2.
“You’ll be able to watch Paddington on his journey, but how fortunate we all are to have Catholic schools as part of our life journeys,” the bishop told sixth graders. “Here, you not only learn about math and science, you learn about God and faith so that you can lead your lives the best way you can. That’s wonderful.”
On Tuesday, January 30, students gathered at the Auburn campus to participate in a variety of service projects, including the building of bookshelves for Trinity Jubilee, the sewing of tee shirt totes for St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, the creating of knotted rosaries for students, and the making of Valentine’s Day cards for residents at St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion. The students at the Lewiston campus made cards and brought treats for the bus drivers on Tuesday.
When the bishop arrived on Wednesday, he participated in a morning prayer led by the student chaplains. During his tour, he was guided by student ambassadors and, before departing, Bishop Deeley attended a staff luncheon hosted by the Friends of St. Dom’s.
On Friday, February 2, the bishop will wrap up his Maine Catholic Schools Week visits by joining the students of Holy Savior School in Rumford for a day of skiing and snow tubing starting at 9:30 a.m.
For a look at activities and projects taking place at other Catholic schools in Maine during Catholic Schools Week, click here.