It was, to be sure, a day for recognizing, appreciating, and celebrating. On Thursday, January 30, the fifth day of Catholic Schools Week, Cardinal Gibbons held an All-School Mass to celebrate Catholic education and all those who make Gibbons a special place that transforms lives through faith, service, and leadership.
Before Mass Director of Outreach Gary Meyerl ’82 spoke to attendees about embracing their life journey with gratitude. He asked attendees to thank all those people who are supporting them on their journey and to honor those who “have helped mold and shape us into the Catholic high school community that we are today.” (Read Mr. Meyerl’s full speech.)
Gibbons Chaplain Fr. Daniel Oschwald celebrated the Mass, which honored five Gibbons educators who dedicated 15 to 25 years of service to our school. It also paid tribute to Sister Mary Jean Korejwo, SND and Sister Janet Schemmel, SND who have ministered at our school for 26 and 28 years respectively.
Sister Mary Jean, who works in the business office, also is celebrating 60 years of consecrated life and Sister Janet, a science educator, is celebrating 50 years in Catholic education. Both are members of the Sisters of Notre Dame (SND) of Chardon, Ohio. A total of 29 SND sisters have ministered at Gibbons as administrators and educators over the last 48 years.
The honorees and their special guests attended the Mass as did members of the school's Board of Trustees, including Chairman Tim Throndson and board members Megan Mazzocchi and Annette Jay. Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese, also attended Mass as did Dr. John Pendergrass, Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Compliance, and Kimberly Browning, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services. (View the list of honorees and their awards.)
Throughout his homily, Father Daniel talked to attendees about “the class” he teaches at Gibbons. He told students that what they need to succeed in his class “and achieve a life in Christ “is an openness of heart and an imagination.” He also said that “God is crazy in love with us.” (Read Fr. Daniel’s full homily.)
After Mass, Principal Nancy A. Barkan spoke of her appreciation to all Gibbons educators for "their loving commitment to Gibbons and to Catholic education." She then recognized the seven educators who were celebrating special anniversaries and thanked them "for serving the school so faithfully and for the gifts they share with this community.”