50th Anniversary Mass kicks off the year

Rev. Alphonse G. Rose gives his homily. The main point of the homily was “to not let education get in the way of your learning”.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the JC community kicked off the school year with the 50th Mass on Sept. 9.

The mass celebrated the beginning of the 50th anniversary year and welcomed back guests including alumni, past faculty, and many Concelebrants. Among the Concelebrants present were Very Reverend Greg Gay, class of ‘71, Reverend Alphonse Rose, Reverend Gerard Francik, Reverend Douglas Kenney, and Monsignor Michael Schleupner. The mass was presided over by Bishop William Newman with Father Steve Sutton as the Principal Celebrant. The mass was also assisted by Deacon Victor Petrosino, whose son was a class of ’87, and seminarian and former religion teacher Josh Laws.

Director of Marketing & Constituent Relations Laura Lang started planning the Mass last year.

“I put a committee together in June of 2012 to begin planning for the anniversary year.  We knew we wanted a major kick off, and we were lucky to find out that the actual opening of Sept 9 could also be our first mass of this anniversary year,” Lang said. “I wanted to make sure we had good representation from our beloved Sisters of Saint Joseph, as well as former faculty.  It was icing on the cake that Dr. Ray Wanner, our very first principal, could also be present.”

After the mass, Monsignor Schleupner blessed St. Joseph Hall.“The blessing was to rename the convent. A lot of the [Sisters of Saint Joseph] went over to the convent since it used to be their home,” Campus Minister Patti Murphy Dohn said. “The presence of the sisters of Saint Joseph’s for almost 45 years was so important to the students and faculty. These women were role models of faith and mentors to many of us. It was great to see them, but it reminded me how deeply they are missed. It is sad that there is not that kind of interaction anymore.”

Murphy Dohn is an alumna of JC and has worked at here for 33 years. “I’ve been here most of my life. It’s a great joy to be here. Many of the guests were dear friends, and some were like family. It is such a source of pride,” Murphy Dohn said. “The 50th anniversary is known as the Golden Jubilee, where you look back over five decades remembering all the good times, accomplishments, and pledging to be even more mission driven in the years to come.”

“I have witnessed so many changes in our school community over the past four decades. The mission of our Catholic education has remained the same, and we strive to witness the Gospel message to our students and families,” Murphy Dohn said.

According to Murphy Dohn, more events will be coming up to commemorate the 50th anniversary year.

“The 50th Anniversary Mass was a great way to bring the JC community together to kick off the year, and I’m excited to see what else is in store for the year,” senior Meredith Haggerty said.

“Alumni weekend is coming up, and it has a 50th anniversary focus. Also on Oct. 6, we will have an alumni memorial Mass,” Murphy Dohn said. There will also be a Mass to close the 50th anniversary year and commemorate the actual 50th anniversary on Sept. 9, 2014.

“I believe it was a great day. There were great people and great memories made.  We also got wonderful media coverage,” Lang said.

“The day highlighted JC’s spirit of community and close an enduring bonds among its people. I felt it was a special and meaningful day in every way, particularly by its emphasis on its job of bringing together so many wonderful people connected to the school in so many ways and for so many years,” President Richard O’Hara said.

Guidance Counselor Larry Hensley is looking forward to the rest of the anniversary year. “I thought it was very nice to see everyone returning, it was almost like a reunion,” Hensley said. I look forward to seeing the involvement of the student body and seeing them take pride in the excitement.”

Cole Alban is the Online Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.