In anticipation of the 2023-2024 school year, the diocesan Department of Catholic Schools hosted a convocation for Catholic school principals Aug. 21 in the Diocesan Chancery, Lawrenceville.
The daylong event began with Mass celebrated in the Chancery chapel by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., followed by a meeting with the diocesan staff.
“As Catholic leaders – me as the Bishop and you as principals – our work, our ministry if you will, is to evangelize together in everything we say and do,” Bishop O’Connell said in his homily.
“We are called by the Lord Jesus and the Church to evangelize society and culture – not the other way around. No excuses, no apologies,” the Bishop said. “Evangelization begins in the Catholic home and family and continues in Catholic schools.”
During the meeting that followed, the principals heard presentations on diocesan policies and procedures by Catholic Schools staff – Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, superintendent; Daniel O’Connell, associate director for curriculum and instruction, and Bonnie Milecki, associate director for School Development and Operations.
Expressing how pleased she was for the opportunity to gather with colleagues for Mass with the Bishop and Catholic Schools staff, Donna White, principal of St. Catharine School, Spring Lake, reflected on how excited the school community is about the numerous capital improvements made to the building, enhanced educational programs and staff “setting us up for success as we enter the next 100 years.”
Lizanne Coyne spoke about the recent completion of the seven-week summer program in St. Mary Academy, Manahawkin, and that “we are looking forward to having the children and teachers back in the building on a regular basis” with the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.
“We continue to be committed to our Catholic school mission of providing enhancements to our academic programs, our STREAM activities, the social-emotional learning aspects and, most importantly, our Catholic faith,” Coyne said.
As St. Rose High School, Belmar, also prepares to enter its 100th year, Robert Dougherty, principal said the students, faculty and families look forward to marking the milestone that “not only celebrates our enduring legacy but also marks the beginning of another exciting chapter in our community’s shared pursuit of faith, knowledge and personal growth.”