Our Opening School Liturgy, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, was particularly special this year. On September 15, 2022, we were honored to welcome Timothy Cardinal Dolan as our celebrant and homilist to celebrate our 125th academic year.
Our Juniors and Seniors formed an Honor Guard, lining the circle as His Eminence drove up to the school.
Then all students, faculty, and staff were joined by alumnae, family, and friends numbering in total more than 1,400 to fill Kelly Mac Field for this historic liturgy.
After opening remarks by President Dr. Melnyk, the Archdiocesan Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Michael Deegan, shared how the Ursuline Sisters had impacted his life. At the homily, the Cardinal congratulated the school on its anniversary and noted that The Ursuline School “is ever fresh and ever new and ever creative.” He addressed the students first, telling them that they are precious, worth more than gold and silver.
He next thanked the Ursuline Sisters, a “sparkling part of the enterprise of Catholic education” for which he was grateful and whom he held in a special place in his heart because he grew up in St. Louis where the Ursuline Academy is located. Cardinal Dolan then told the parents, alumnae, board, and benefactors that they are very much appreciated; he mentioned that he meets grateful and proud Ursuline alumnae in many roles everywhere he goes in the Archdiocese. Cardinal Dolan thanked the school Administration for their leadership and asked “the sterling faculty and staff” to stand and be applauded.
Cardinal Dolan also saluted two extraordinary persons. First, he spoke of the Holy Spirit. He exhorted us to turn to the Holy Spirit as we begin this festival year and to simply say “Come Holy Spirit” whenever we have an undertaking. Finally, Cardinal Dolan spoke of Mary, Mother of Jesus. It happened to be the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15. The Cardinal spoke directly to students again. He said, “One of the greatest lessons you’re going to learn at a Catholic school is how to bear the cross because sooner or later, you will; the cross is going to be in your life. We can either despair and give up or we can be filled with hope, as was Mary at the foot of the cross, who knew in her grief that her son was going to conquer; never ever lose hope.”
The tribute to the Ursuline Sisters was continued by Dr. Colleen Melnyk in her closing remarks. She said, “We proclaim our deep gratitude for this uniquely special community rooted in faith and service and committed to educating, inspiring and empowering young women for over 125 years.” She noted that the Ursuline nuns have served as living examples of the virtues of service, selflessness, and dignity. That remains the mission and connects alumnae across generations. Today, the Ursuline motto Serviam inspires alumnae and students worldwide.
Before Mass, the Cardinal blessed the cross hanging in our Kulsar & McCarthy Lobby and listened as students played the Ursuline song “Insieme,” “Together.” Following the liturgy, he visited our Innovation Hub.
iHub Coordinator Mrs. Raquel Floro shared with the Cardinal how students develop design thinking skills in this makerspace. Computer Science teachers Mr. David Lorden and Mr. Howard Mo showed the Cardinal the innovative learning space used for some technology classes.
It was a memorable day! We invite you to view the livestream of the liturgy at: https://youtu.be/P6kH6gFERI0