Bishop Deeley celebrates Mass to mark the start of the school year at Saint Dominic Academy
LEWISTON---Continuing a long tradition, Bishop Robert Deeley gathered with members the Saint Dominic Academy school community for a Mass celebrating the start of the school year.
Hundreds of students from both the Lewiston and Auburn campuses of St. Dom’s filled nearly every pew of Holy Cross Church in Lewiston for the Mass, which was celebrated on Wednesday, September 13.
While first checking with the students on how the school year has gone so far, the bishop then looked to the months ahead, urging the students to take advantage of the opportunities that lie before them.
“As you begin the school year, we dedicate ourselves once again to doing the best that we can, to learn what’s before us and to see it as God’s gift for us. We should open our minds so that we might understand the universe, open our minds so that we might understand the ways in which creation is a gift to all of us, open our minds so that we can understand the world we live in, and open our hearts to appreciate how the people that God puts around us need us to care for them and to watch over them,” the bishop said.
Bishop Deeley said Saint Dominic Academy is not only a place where students grow in knowledge but a place where they come to know that that knowledge is a gift from God. He encouraged them to think about what the Lord is saying to them and to let his message enter their hearts and form their lives.
“Nurture the love of God that is in each of us because we are each created in his image and likeness,” the bishop said. “God calls us to care for each other … and to seek the good in one other so that we can strengthen each other and the community of Saint Dominic Academy.”
There is much to celebrate as St. Dom’s begins a new year. Enrollment at the school, which includes grades pre-K through 12, has topped 450. The school recently received institutional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and the academy welcomed a third member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, Sister Jacinta Coscia, FSE, to its faculty.
“It really is unique to St. Dom’s that we have three religious sisters teaching here,” said Alanna Stevenson, principal of the Auburn campus. “It is the basis of Catholic education to have religious instruction from religious sisters. Many of our grandparents who are seeing their grandchildren come through here had sisters for their teachers, so it’s nice for them to see.”
Students participated in many aspects of the Mass opening the school year, serving as readers, altar servers, cantors, and choir members. They also presented the gifts during the offertory.
At the conclusion of the Mass, members of the school’s baseball team each took a turn ringing a bell to celebrate last year’s state championship. The team captured their second straight Class D title last June, and the coach assured those in attendance they were going to try to make it three in a row next spring.