Beatles and Benevolence: Bishop Deeley Welcomed Warmly to St. Brigid School in Portland
PORTLAND---“The most important way I’m preparing is trying to be a good person,” said Charlie, a fifth grader. “Being a student at St. Brigid showed me how nice people could be and made me excited for the future.”
Charlie was one of several fifth graders who read their essays, focused on how St. Brigid School has prepared them for middle school, aloud for Bishop Robert Deeley during his special visit to the school on Wednesday, March 1 (many pictures below).
“I am so impressed,” the bishop told the students after their well-delivered speeches. “You thought those up, typed them up, and presented them. That was excellent. You made my day. The ability to communicate and bring ideas to life is a very valuable lesson you are learning at St. Brigid.”
And one of many special moments enjoyed by the bishop, who visited each classroom in the school. The bishop read The Cat in the Hat and Wacky Wednesday to pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on Thursday, played Jeopardy with fourth graders, and listened as first and second graders delivered presentations on the reasons that they love St. Brigid School and Catholic education.
“The teachers are so nice, and I also enjoy going to church on Mondays. Last, but not least, I also like prayer each morning,” said Peyton, a second grader.
“My favorite things are my friends and my teacher. St. Brigid School is the best!” said Landon, her classmate.
The first graders also gave the bishop cards they made for him and diocesan staff.
“I hope you like our school. I am praying for you,” wrote Charlotte.
In third grade, Bishop Deeley heard about the book reports the students had completed on historical figures.
“That is great. We read about people from history and learn what they did and the decisions they made. It can help us make decisions in our own lives,” the bishop told the children.
The third graders also presented the bishop with beautiful handmade cards thanking him for his service.
“Thank you for carrying on the work of the Apostles,” wrote Stella.
Bishop Deeley spoke about vocations with the sixth, seventh, eighth graders, not just vocations to religious life, but how to approach deciding what to do.
“God is calling all of us to a vocation. Each of us needs to pray that we understand what God is calling us to do so we can do what God wants us to do,” said the bishop. “Whatever it is, there will be challenges, but remember, keep doing it because it’s what God is calling you to do, and God is always with you.”
Another highlight of the visit was a spectacular concert by the acclaimed St. Brigid School music program, which is coordinated by Matthew Fogg who co-owns the Midcoast School of Music in Portland and provides students with professional instructors in a variety of specialties and disciplines.
The fourth and fifth grade band performed “Stand by Me;” the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade band played a Beatles medley of “Let It Be” and “Come Together;” and a combined chorus of third, fourth, and fifth graders performed “Rainbow Connection.”
Bishop Deeley was joined on his visit by Bill Burke, principal of St. Brigid School; Fr. Paul Sullivan, pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish of which St. Brigid School is a part; Marianne Pelletier, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools; Suzanne Lafreniere, director of public policy for the diocese; and Ellen Couture of St. Brigid.