Chemung County school pays honor to Mary, grandparents - Catholic Courier
Children crown a statue of Mary.

St. Mary Our Mother students crown Mary during the May 5 Mass at the church in Horseheads. (Photo by Rick Bacmanski)

Chemung County school pays honor to Mary, grandparents

HORSEHEADS — What better setting for a May crowning than a church named St. Mary Our Mother?

On May 5, the parish hosted its school’s annual crowning to begin the 9 a.m. First Friday liturgy. Students processed into church carrying individual flowers, which they then placed on a large statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary near the altar.

Music throughout the Mass was provided by a student choir under the guidance of Cathy Peckham, St. Mary Our Mother Parish’s music director. In addition, young people served in such liturgical roles as cantors and lectors. To enhance their tribute to Mary, many students wore formal clothing.

The liturgy/May crowning was one of many special events at parishes and Catholic schools across the Rochester Diocese during May — a month traditionally dedicated to Marian devotion in the Catholic Church. May crownings serve to honor Mary’s queenship as mother of Christ the King; other special acknowledgements throughout the month include rosary recitation and Marian hymns.

Grandparents share in Horseheads school’s annual celebration

Also as part of its May 5 activities, St. Mary Our Mother School offered its annual Grandparents’ Day observance. Thanks to the presence of many grandparents as well as parents, the church was filled nearly to capacity.

“We have grandparents from all over,” said Heather Bill, the school’s principal. In fact, when Father Christopher Linsler — the liturgy’s celebrant and pastor of St. Mary Our Mother Parish — asked the congregation’s grandparents where they live, “New Jersey” was one of the responses.

As a nod to Grandparents’ Day, Father Linsler devoted much of his homily to Vin Scully, a celebrated sports announcer who died last Aug. 2 at age 94. Father Linsler noted that while Scully earned numerous honors for his many years of broadcasting, he also was strongly devoted to his 21 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Following Mass, festivities continued with a reception and book fair for all in the school gymnasium. According to Bill, the combined May crowning and Grandparents’ Day celebration marks a tradition going back at least to her own time as a student at St. Mary Our Mother; she graduated from the school in 1998.

Tags: Catholic Schools, Chemung County News, Mary
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