Legacies and New Beginnings

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.

JoAnn Tier

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” 

This quote by Andre Gide has found a home on my desk and has been a frequent source of inspiration.

For students and families of St. Denis School in Manasquan, Holy Family School in Lakewood, and Incarnation-St. James School in Ewing, changing demographics and financial and enrollment challenges have resulted in pastors and finance councils making the difficult decision to close their parish school in June 2015.

The walls of the schools hold much history and memories of days gone by.  The legacies are carried in the hearts of many as school teachers imparted the faith and provided an exceptional educational experience.

St. Denis School was founded in 1959 and staffed through the years by the Sisters of St. Joseph as well as the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell.  Holy Family School was founded by the Religious Teachers of St. Lucy Filippini in 1975.  Incarnation-St. James School has been administered by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary since 1956.  It is in the DNA of Catholic educators to provide instruction that forms each child, and these schools have provided a rigorous Catholic education.  Gratitude is expressed to pastors, administrators and faculty, past and present, and to all who have left their imprint on minds and hearts of children throughout the course of each school’s history.

With change and transition comes resolve.  The familiar will be tucked away in memory banks and stories will flow at random times, bringing wistful smiles. Tours, visits, and conversations with principals of neighboring Catholic schools will bring about a second home not meant to replace, but to add to the love, add to the learning, add to life’s unfolding experiences.  Resolve, belief and courage contribute to a more comfortable discomfort as our students and families explore new environments and know that acceptance and belonging will soon be a reality. 

St. Paul School in Burlington discovered the power of relentless and committed PTA members to turn their ship around – not to cling to the shore but to boldly test the waters to build anew.  In November, the community learned that the parish could no longer subsidize the school and that closure was imminent.

Emboldened, the community sponsored a plethora of fundraisers to raise monies to subsidize the school for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year and reached out to alumni and friends far and wide.  The goal of $250,000 was realized in six weeks – one of those weeks being part of the Christmas holiday!

Academically strong, guided by a forward-thinking principal and faculty, St. Paul School will grow in enrollment and with God’s blessings, continue to serve the Burlington area for years to come. 

Endings and new beginnings… part of the cycle of life.

Administrators in our Catholic schools stay the course with constancy as they live the mission and impart the teachings of Jesus.  In doing so, they understand the need, as well, to discover new oceans.  Global education, a niche to define a school’s focus, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and improving student understanding and learning comprise areas that are on the horizon. 

Accolades in the academic and athletic realm and recognition nationwide have long been recognized as hallmarks of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton.  Recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence was attained by St. Ann School in Lawrenceville in 2010, by St Leo the Great School in Lincroft and St. Paul School in Princeton in 2012, and by St. Gregory the Great Academy in Hamilton Square in 2014.  The National Catholic Educational Association has recognized Anne Reap, Director of Trenton Catholic Academy Lower School, as a distinguished elementary principal in 2015.  This honor was also conferred upon Sister of St. Joseph Jude Boyce, principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Asbury Park, in 2013.  Distinguished pastor, Father Daniel Swift of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, was also recognized in 2013.  In 2014, the Diocesan PTA was congratulated by NCEA for their vision and support of Catholic schools.  Leadership and service abound and are recognized and applauded.

Leadership, service, belief and tireless commitment comprise the hallmark of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton.  Demographics may change and our beloved schools may, for a time, find themselves tempest-tossed, yet, the fiber inherent in Catholic education continues.  Catholic administrators and faculty find the courage to lose sight of the shore each day.  Trusting in God, they commit to God’s will.  Theirs are lives of service to others.  Their lives are poured out daily to pass on the legacy and beauty of our Catholic faith. 

They are believers and they trust God to guide the path as they lose sight of the shore and discover, yet again, new oceans.

JoAnn Tier is diocesan moderator of Catholic Education and superintendent of schools.

[[In-content Ad]]

Related Stories

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” 

This quote by Andre Gide has found a home on my desk and has been a frequent source of inspiration.

For students and families of St. Denis School in Manasquan, Holy Family School in Lakewood, and Incarnation-St. James School in Ewing, changing demographics and financial and enrollment challenges have resulted in pastors and finance councils making the difficult decision to close their parish school in June 2015.

The walls of the schools hold much history and memories of days gone by.  The legacies are carried in the hearts of many as school teachers imparted the faith and provided an exceptional educational experience.

St. Denis School was founded in 1959 and staffed through the years by the Sisters of St. Joseph as well as the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell.  Holy Family School was founded by the Religious Teachers of St. Lucy Filippini in 1975.  Incarnation-St. James School has been administered by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary since 1956.  It is in the DNA of Catholic educators to provide instruction that forms each child, and these schools have provided a rigorous Catholic education.  Gratitude is expressed to pastors, administrators and faculty, past and present, and to all who have left their imprint on minds and hearts of children throughout the course of each school’s history.

With change and transition comes resolve.  The familiar will be tucked away in memory banks and stories will flow at random times, bringing wistful smiles. Tours, visits, and conversations with principals of neighboring Catholic schools will bring about a second home not meant to replace, but to add to the love, add to the learning, add to life’s unfolding experiences.  Resolve, belief and courage contribute to a more comfortable discomfort as our students and families explore new environments and know that acceptance and belonging will soon be a reality. 

St. Paul School in Burlington discovered the power of relentless and committed PTA members to turn their ship around – not to cling to the shore but to boldly test the waters to build anew.  In November, the community learned that the parish could no longer subsidize the school and that closure was imminent.

Emboldened, the community sponsored a plethora of fundraisers to raise monies to subsidize the school for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year and reached out to alumni and friends far and wide.  The goal of $250,000 was realized in six weeks – one of those weeks being part of the Christmas holiday!

Academically strong, guided by a forward-thinking principal and faculty, St. Paul School will grow in enrollment and with God’s blessings, continue to serve the Burlington area for years to come. 

Endings and new beginnings… part of the cycle of life.

Administrators in our Catholic schools stay the course with constancy as they live the mission and impart the teachings of Jesus.  In doing so, they understand the need, as well, to discover new oceans.  Global education, a niche to define a school’s focus, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and improving student understanding and learning comprise areas that are on the horizon. 

Accolades in the academic and athletic realm and recognition nationwide have long been recognized as hallmarks of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton.  Recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence was attained by St. Ann School in Lawrenceville in 2010, by St Leo the Great School in Lincroft and St. Paul School in Princeton in 2012, and by St. Gregory the Great Academy in Hamilton Square in 2014.  The National Catholic Educational Association has recognized Anne Reap, Director of Trenton Catholic Academy Lower School, as a distinguished elementary principal in 2015.  This honor was also conferred upon Sister of St. Joseph Jude Boyce, principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Asbury Park, in 2013.  Distinguished pastor, Father Daniel Swift of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, was also recognized in 2013.  In 2014, the Diocesan PTA was congratulated by NCEA for their vision and support of Catholic schools.  Leadership and service abound and are recognized and applauded.

Leadership, service, belief and tireless commitment comprise the hallmark of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton.  Demographics may change and our beloved schools may, for a time, find themselves tempest-tossed, yet, the fiber inherent in Catholic education continues.  Catholic administrators and faculty find the courage to lose sight of the shore each day.  Trusting in God, they commit to God’s will.  Theirs are lives of service to others.  Their lives are poured out daily to pass on the legacy and beauty of our Catholic faith. 

They are believers and they trust God to guide the path as they lose sight of the shore and discover, yet again, new oceans.

JoAnn Tier is diocesan moderator of Catholic Education and superintendent of schools.

[[In-content Ad]]
Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


UPDATED: Bishop dedicates new Diocesan Shrine of Blessed Carlo Acutis
An air of both excitement and reverence permeated the parish community of ...

So much of evangelization depends on how we sow
A writer and I were going back and forth about how...

Michigan grandfather, mystic and stigmatist had the healing touch – could he be a saint?
Irving "Francis" Houle's death in 2009 didn't make national news.

Fe en Casa: Eucaristía y Servicio: Dar a los demás lo que hemos recibido
De todas las formas en que podemos conectar nuestros corazones

Synod participant says Pope's process for synod is a 'breathing in' for global Church
Pope Francis' reimagined process for the world Synod of Bishops...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2023 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.