Father Jason Parzynski, Notre Dame High School chaplain, offers a reflection.
Father Jason Parzynski, Notre Dame High School chaplain, offers a reflection.
The 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are being commemorated in various ways in parishes and Catholic schools from around the Diocese as well as during observances taking place within the wider communities and towns.

Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, used Sept. 9 to hold a commemorative prayer Service for students, faculty and staff gathering at the Marian grotto on the school grounds.

In a website message prepared by the school’s senior communications intern, Alena Bitoni, the prayer service “was a time to reflect and remember the tragic events that forever impacted our country 21 years ago.”

It was most meaningful for the school community to have the presence of members of the Lawrence Township Police and Fire departments in attendance and witness them receiving a blessing from Father Jason Parzynski, school chaplain who presided at the service.

Bitoni noted that a number of the police and fire officials were graduates of Notre Dame: Matt Haenni, ’92, Battalion Chief, Slackwood Fire Company, and those who serve on the Lawrence Township Police Department staff: Joe Lech ’93, captain; Marc Poveromo ’91, police officer, and RJ Laird ’04, police officer.

Bitoni said the ceremony began with a welcome from school president Ken Jennings. Student Stesher Mathelier raised the American Flag while Officer Poveromo led the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem was performed by Notre Dame Madrigal Choir. Deacon Rich Hobson, proclaimed a Gospel Reading while Father Parzynski offered a reflection and a Peace Prayer was read by senior members of the school’s campus ministry.

Following the closing remarks given by Joanna. Barlow, principal, and student government president Maeve Vernon, the first responders were invited for a light breakfast

An upcoming commemoration is planned for Sept. 11 in St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft, where a Memorial Holy Hour with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and recitation of the Rosary will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. in the church located at 50 Hurleys Lane.

Updates to this story will be added as they become available.

Podcast: Bishop O'Connell's reflection on the 20th anniversary of 9-11.