The celebration of our Catholic Faith and Holy Mass is taken seriously at St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick School and carried out with both reverence and engaging ceremony. In addition to our daily prayers when we join together as a school each morning in the gym to start our day with prayer, we also gather as a school community on most Friday mornings for a whole school Mass. About once per month, one class will have a more intimate Mass in the school chapel while other grade levels hold special prayer services.
 
Each week our Worship Commission works to transform the gymnasium into a holy worship space. These are students in grades 5 through 8; they are directed by our eighth grade homeroom teacher, Mrs. Bruno. Our student choir, students in grades 4-8 directed by Mr. Martorano, enhance the ceremony with music. A different grade level orchestrates the Mass each week. Even our youngest students, sometimes with a little help from their buddies, read the introduction, the First Reading and the intercessions.  Just a few of our special liturgical celebrations are described and pictured here.

Closing Liturgy for School Year 2016-17

On Wednesday, June 7, we celebrated our closing school liturgy and commissioned each class to move forward to the next grade level. We took time to revisit our theme for this year, We Are the Work of God's Hands, and Father Brian even revisited the homily that he gave at our opening liturgy. He continued the story of the football star who took the time to show kindness to an autistic boy by simply eating lunch with him. Father challenged all of the students to show others kindness during the summer and to truly be the work of God's hands here on earth.
 

May Crowning 2017

The month of May calls for special dedication to Mary, the mother of Jesus and inspiration to us all for her willingness to say Yes to God’s plan for her. As part of the celebration of Mary, St. Alphonsus / St. Patrick   students crowned Mary during Mass on Friday, May 12.  Eighth grader Gabriela S., had the honor of crowning Mary. She was supported and assisted by other 8th grade classmates as well as the second grade students who recently celebrated their First Holy Communion. The May Crowning Mass on May 12 marked the first time that the second graders had the privilege of receiving Holy Communion with their school community! To honor the occasion and Mary, they dressed in their First Communion finery and honored Mary with flowers. This beautiful ceremony helps to keep the faithfulness of Mary alive in our minds and hearts so that we might draw upon her strength and bring it to life for each other.

First Holy Communion for the Second Grade

On Saturday, April 29, the second grade students from St. Alphonsus Parish received their First Holy Communion during a beautiful ceremony at St. Alphonsus Church. Then on May 6, our second graders from St. Patrick Parish received the Holy Eucharist for the first time also! Having been well prepared for the sacrament by their second grade teacher, Mrs. Teri Lerch, by their parents, and by their participation at our school and parish liturgies, the students approached the table of the Lord with both anticipation and reverence. The children helped to orchestrate the Mass and sang a special song with joy. The prayerful expressions you will see in the photographs here give witness to how special this day was for our second grade students and their families. It is our prayer as a school community that their faith will continue to grow.

Holy Thursday at St. Als/St. Pat's

Each year during Holy Week, the students of St. Alphonsus-St. Patrick School are blessed to be able to participate in traditional presentations that help them recall the passion and death of Jesus. On Holy Thursday, the first day of the Triduum, the fifth grade students performed a very thought provoking and moving re-enactment of the Last Supper. Their fellow students in Kindergarten through grade 4 came to witness the dramatization/prayer service along with many other guests. Also on Holy Thursday, the students in grades 6 through 8 participated in a Seder Meal prayer service. Through this ritual we hope to remember our Jewish ancestors and how our Catholic faith is linked to theirs through Jesus.  Both experiences helped our students live out memories that are central to our Catholic faith.  

The Last Supper Dramatization

The Seder Meal

Meditations on the Cross....You Are Invited

Each year, the eighth grade class relives the Passion of Christ for the school community by presenting a special reenactment of the Stations of the Cross.  Directed by their homeroom teacher, Mrs. Eileen Bruno, and using a scrim, shadow, song and script, the eighth graders present a moving rendition of the Stations of the Cross. This year, the meditations on the scriptural Stations of the Cross were based upon those celebrated by Saint Pope John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991.  The meditations gave the audience so much to think about and reflect upon, and the pictures painted with shadows give life to this story that is so central to our faith.  Relive the performance as you view the videos and pictures. 

Meditations on the Cross, a Synopsis

Meditations on the Cross, Synopsis from Mrs. Yakes on Vimeo.

Meditations on the Cross, You Are Invited

Meditations on the Cross, You Are Invited, 2017 from Mrs. Yakes on Vimeo.

Eighth Grade Ribbon Mass 2017

On Friday, February 24, our eighth grade students received their class ribbons during a special Mass and ceremony that was a celebration of friendship, accomplishment, and call to further service. Witnessed by the entire school community as well as their families and friends, the members of the class of 2017 proudly accepted the green and white class ribbons from the faculty members that have been their Confirmation mentors this year. They accepted the ribbons as a symbol of honor, fellowship and leadership.  To paraphrase Mrs. Bruno, their homeroom teacher,

" …we give each member of the Class of 2017 a special ribbon to …to adorn them, to signify their giftedness, to tie them to memories of loved ones that have helped them reach this point in their lives, to symbolize their courage as disciples of Christ, to show their solidarity with our school, and to honor them for their academic victories….."

 Keenly aware of the example that they provide to our younger students, the eighth graders will wear the ribbons with pride as they continue to demonstrate the character, kindness and courage that distinguish our St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick School graduates.  

Kindergarten Thanksgiving Mass

Mrs. Jenkins’ Kindergarten students orchestrated our school Liturgy service for the first time on Friday, November 18.  They sent the tone for the Mass with a beautiful handmade banner proclaiming the need for us to be thankful for our many blessings.  Our youngest students led the readings and prayers with just a bit of support from their eighth grade buddies! The children then worked with the choir to sing and sign and beautiful hymn after Holy Communion. Included during the liturgy was a blessing over the food we collected for the community open pantry during the month of November. 

Mass of Remembrance 2016

The Worship Commission, under the direction of Mrs. Eileen Bruno, consistently creates wonderful backdrops for our liturgies.  Their transformation efforts for the annual Mass of Remembrance are always especially meaningful for our school community.  This year, the names of loved ones who have passed were represented on butterflies colored and decorated by family members. They were meant to demonstrate that upon death, life is changed but not ended. The first grade students did a beautiful job orchestrating the liturgy celebration with just a little help from their seventh grade buddies. It was a lovely way to remember special people who are no longer with us on earth.

All Saints Day Liturgy

Eighth Grade Leadership Mass

One of our most inspiring and touching back-to-school events is the eighth grade Leadership Mass. We have watched our eighth graders grow from little children to mature students willing to accept the mantle of leadership. During the Mass on Friday, September 9, the eighth grade class pledged to use their gifts and talents to lead the school this year and to help all of our students and our entire school community live our theme, We Are the Work of God’s Hands.  Throughout the year these young leaders will demonstrate with their service and leadership some of the ways that God expects us to also be His hands to help make our world a better place. The school community promised to help our fledgling leaders along the way and to champion their successful leadership accomplishments as well.

 

The Opening Mass: We Are the Work of God's Hands

No matter how many days of school have already gone by, it is our opening Mass that really starts the year. This special Mass actualizes our theme for the year in an artistic and creative way thanks to the work of all of the children and the school community. The teachers prepared the background boards and then the children each contributed an artistic rendition of their hand. As always, special mention must be made about the extraordinary contributions of time and talent from Mr. and Mrs. Bruno for the original conception and woodworking and for the final framing of the artwork. 
 
On Friday, September 2, the entire school community gathered for our opening celebration liturgy. The beautiful hand portraits created by each class will serve as a constant reminder this year of our theme. We are Celtics...Living Our Mission....and We Are the Work of God's Hands. Father Brian's homily spoke to the fact that we are all here to also be the hands of God to one another. He told a story of a simple hero who just by eating lunch with an isolated student changed that child's whole life. The opening liturgy charged us all to go out and be heroes to one another with simple kindness and caring.