In what is an annual Gibbons tradition, the school community came together in faithful prayer during the start of the new academic year to celebrate Mass. This year, the Mass was held on August 15, the feast of the Immaculate Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and was celebrated by the Most Rev. Luis Rafael Zarama, the Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh.
“Without the dedication of the many educators and students who help prepare for All-School Masses in every capacity – from logistics to greeting and serving – it would not be possible to make this beautiful celebration happen,” said Gibbons College Counselor Jessica Singagliese, one of the educators who helps prepare for All-School Masses.
Many priests from throughout the Diocese also attended the first All-School Mass of the 2018-2019 academic year, as did Diocesan officials and members of the Cardinal Gibbons Board of Trustees. They joined the students and educators who filled the main gym.
It is, all in the Gibbons community would agree, an inspiring way to launch the new school year. What is also inspiring is how the group of educators and students known as Strike Force Mass spent hours turning the main gym into a sacred place and the altar servers, ushers, readers, and members of the choir who were present throughout the Mass ensuring that all went smoothly while maintaining a reverent setting.
“Without the dedication of the many educators and students who help prepare for All-School Masses in every capacity – from logistics to greeting and serving – it would not be possible to make this beautiful celebration happen,” said Gibbons College Counselor Jessica Singagliese, one of the educators who helps prepare for All-School Masses. “Their engagement and enthusiasm are outward signs of the spirit of our school community. “
Principal Jason D. Curtis welcomed Bishop Zarama and guests to Cardinal Gibbons and thanked them for supporting Catholic education and for celebrating the start of another academic year with the Gibbons school community.
As is his way, Bishop Zarama delivered his homily from the altar rather than from behind the podium. He talked about how the feast of the Assumption made him think about how others help us become who we are and help us see the light. He told attendees, "The meaning of life is to be able to share what we have. It doesn't matter what it is because it can make a big difference in the life of someone else." If we do that “we are helping Jesus and living the Gospel,” Bishop Zarama continued, adding that “sharing and helping is giving love.”
After Mass, Bishop Zarama spent time at Gibbons touring the school, connecting with students, and having lunch in the school cafeteria with students and educators. So, what does he like most about being at Gibbons? Seeing students interacting with one another, Bishop Zarama said.