September 24, 2021 was a momentous day in the history of The Ursuline School!
We gathered as a faith community to hold our opening school liturgy, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, with Msgr. Keane as celebrant. Calling upon the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the school year is a tradition that has long existed in the Church.
Our Senior Class Presidents, Victoria Belizze and Elizabeth Vulcano, proclaimed the Call to Worship. During the Mass, we celebrated the formal installation of Dr. Colleen Melnyk as the third President of The Ursuline School.
Mrs. Sheila Sohr, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Sr. Maureen Welch, Provincial of The Ursulines of the Eastern Province, presided over the installation ceremony.
Sr. Maureen referenced the writings of St. Angela Merici, praying that Dr. Melnyk would find encouragement, inspiration, and vision from St. Angela’s words. Sr. Maureen described the school leadership as a ministry that “is a blessing and a profound responsibility. It recognizes your special gifts and calls you to minister among us and with us. We thank you for accepting this calling from God, and we challenge you to offer your best to God and to this community.”
As a symbol of the presidential role, Sr. Maureen placed in Dr. Melnyk’s hands the Charter of the School. She then gave Dr. Melnyk a copy of St. Angela’s Counsels.
Dr. Melnyk took a few moments to speak to the student body and guests, who included Trustees, past and present, Ursuline Sisters and Dr. Melnyk's family. She said she was deeply honored and blessed to lead the school. Addressing the students directly, she noted that they each have, or will have, a favorite place on campus. For Dr. Melnyk that “most special place is the beautiful statue of St. Angela where she presides over all of us on the JB Commons. . . It appears that this lovely statue is literally standing on a strong foundation, yet forward facing, forward moving, and therefore, future oriented. This is a perfect symbol of my vision of leadership for The Ursuline School.”
At the Offertory Procession, one student from each of our seven grades brought up symbols of our school: a hard hat and shovel, symbolic of new spaces and a solid foundation; the rosary to remind us of the power of prayer; a stuffed koala, our school mascot, to represent school spirit and belonging; a portrait of St. Angela, the foundress of the Ursuline Sisters; a framed copy of the Mission Statement that states who we are as a community; the wine, and the hosts.
We ended this most special liturgy with the commissioning of several new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and the recessional hymn City of God.