The Most Rev. Leonard P. Blair, Archbishop of Hartford, served as the celebrant of Holy Cross High School's Founders' Week Liturgy on Friday, March 23, 2018. This liturgy was the culmination of a week-long event where Holy Cross celebrated its' founders and the value of Catholic education. Several pastors from local churches were in attendance including, Fr. James Sullivan, Fr. Frederick Aniello, Fr. Joseph Donnelly, Fr. John Lavorgna, and Fr. Anthony Smith.
"I'm very glad to be here to celebrate Mass with all of you," said Archbishop Blair to the audience of students, faculty, administrators and special guests. "As we come ever closer to Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we see very clearly the love that Jesus has for each one of us. As we celebrate this Mass, we are drawn to Christ and his love revealed on the cross. We ask that we may be freed of our own sinfulness and all the things that tempt us away from that love."
"Catholic education helps students in their academic, physical, social, emotional and spiritual development," said Amadeo Rinaldi, Interim President. "The primary mission of the school is to prepare students to be people of faith and followers of Jesus Christ. As Holy Cross begins the celebration of its' 50th Anniversary over the next year, it is a reminder of the important role that our school has played in instilling Catholic values in our students."
The Archbishop's visit is two years in the making. "I met with Fr. Michael Casey '05, current Vocations Director for the Archdiocese, in 2016 to talk about enhancing the relationship with the Archdiocese and Holy Cross," said Joseph Carrah '76, Theology Department Chair. "He suggested we get in touch with Fr. Ryan Lerner, Secretary to the Archbishop and Fr. Jeff Gugliotti, former Vocations Director for the Archdiocese."
The school had a wonderful visit with Fr. Lerner in the fall of 2017. Holy Cross continued to coordinate schedules with the Archbishop over the past year.
"It was perfect timing that we were about to coordinate Archbishop Blair's schedule with our Founders' Week Litrugy," said Kyle Piatak, Director of Campus Ministry."Amongst the students, there is great anticipation. They know this is something special. Theology teacher, Ann Estrada spearheaded a lesson plan that gave the students a better understanding of who the Archbishop is and our relationship with him."
"We are in the calendar year of our 50th Anniversary," said Mr. Carrah. "This is a great way to root ourselves in the Catholic tradition for our next 50 years."
Following the liturgy, the Archbishop met with special guests, faculty and students at a reception in the Brother James Kane, C.S.C. Library Media Center.