Holy Cross School prays for future - Catholic Courier

Holy Cross School prays for future

CHARLOTTE — During a Mass and candlelight vigil at Holy Cross Church Jan. 15, participants prayed for the future of Holy Cross School, members of the Catholic Schools Task Force and Bishop Matthew H. Clark, who is expected to release a decision on the future of diocesan schools by the end of January.

“We ask for your blessings especially on our bishop, who is faced with many difficult decisions, and we know that he needs our prayers and guidance and our love,” said Father Thomas H. Wheeland, pastor.

Cheerleaders, athletes, students in school uniforms and Holy Cross’ adult supporters clad in the school’s colors of yellow and blue showed up to pray that the school might keep on going.

“But we pray in the larger context of the school system,” Father Wheeland said. “We pray that we will always have a choice of schools where we will be able to talk about Jesus in our classrooms, and where we will be able to celebrate his birthday.”

Father Wheeland noted that the vigil was organized after some parents asked if a prayer service for Catholic schools could be held during the regular Tuesday Mass. Drawing on the Gospel message, he told those at the Mass to not let their hearts be troubled.

“I believe in the power of the Spirit,” Father Wheeland said. “I believe that Spirit is what gives us the ability to have Catholic education here at Holy Cross for 100 years.”

After Mass, students, parents, staff, alumni and other Holy Cross supporters said prayers outside the school by candlelight. Instead of a somber vigil, though, some participants led the crowd in cheers, chanting and spelling out the school’s name.

“This is what we mean when we say Holy Cross is different,” parent Julie Swan said to the assembled crowd.

Mary Dayton, a former teacher and principal of Holy Cross from 1998 to 2002, said the school truly does stand out, and not just for the lengthy list of community leaders who were educated there.

“The community is willing to sacrifice for Catholic education to make it possible for all,” said Dayton, who is now working at Irondequoit’s Bishop Kearney High School.

Although her children don’t attend the school, Holy Cross parishioner Peggy Stahovic said she wanted to participate in the Mass and vigil to show her support.

“They went to preschool here, and religious (education classes) here and sports practices,” she said of her children.

Fifth-grader Mary Kunigan said she wanted to show support for her school as well, and listed the reasons she thinks Holy Cross is special.

“It’s really fun, and when people get hurt, they really care about you,” she remarked.

Though Daniel Maley conceded that he attended the Mass because his teachers told him too, he added that he wanted to make sure his school stays open.

“I like it because of the new playground,” Daniel said, referring to playground that was opened and dedicated in 2007.

His mother, Pat Maley, credits teachers, staff and Principal Rebecca Maloney with the success of students at the school.

“My son has enriched his faith tenfold,” she said.

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