Bishop Lennon Celebrates VASJ’s Opening Mass

There is much to celebrate at the start of the 2014-15 school year at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School – a summer filled with facility updates and renovations, including the new gym; an enrollment of 420, the highest it has been in years; a growing faculty and staff which includes several alums, and a new year filled with promise.

For these reasons and more, the entire VASJ community came together on Thursday, August 28, as Bishop Richard Lennon celebrated the school’s Opening Mass.

The VASJ family gathered on August 28 for the school's Opening Mass Liturgy.

The theme of the Mass, which was prepared by VASJ’s Religion Department and student Peer Ministers, was “Called to be Holy” and all scriptures and readings tied into this theme.

VASJ Principal David Csank welcomed guests including Margaret Lyons and Gene Boyer from the Diocese of Cleveland, representatives of the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland, former VASJ President Jim Sukys ’76, Lorie Howley of The Howley Family Foundation, members of the Board of Advisors and other alums and friends of the school.

Jacob Stauffer '16 leads the procession into the gym for VASJ's Opening Mass.

President Richard Osborne ’69 welcomed Bishop Lennon to VASJ. “We greet you today with our pledge that the values of our Catholic faith and the Ursuline and Marianist charisms that shape our spirit will act as the light that guides us on our journey throughout the year,” Osborne said.

Bishop Lennon spent time prior to the Mass visiting with students, faculty and staff and touring some of the school’s renovated spaces. In his homily, he remarked on the updated facilities.

Bishop Richard Lennon celebrates VASJ's Opening Mass along with Rev. Ted Cassidy, SM.

“First and foremost, I need to say how beautiful the school looks,” Bishop Lennon said. “A lot of work has been done and it really sparkles.”

Three VASJ seniors – Valerie Koch, Annie O’Neill and Danielle Paus ­– answered the call and were commissioned by Bishop Lennon as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist.

Bishop Lennon commissions seniors Valerie Koch, Danielle Paus
and Annie O'Neill as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist.

Bishop Lennon prayed for the students, faculty and staff at VASJ and asked that the school experience a blessed year. He acknowledged the adults who were present and told the students: “The legacy of the Ursulines and Marianists and all who make this school the wonderful thing that it is – they do it for you. You are why we are here.”

View more photos from VASJ's Opening Mass.