By Phoenix journalist Nicole Aponte ’20:
On the morning of Friday, September 14, 2018, Kellenberg Memorial High School greeted bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre John Barres at the school’s prayer service of the feast of the Triumph of the Cross attended by Kellenberg students, faculty and parents as well as St. Martin de Porres School students and parents. Bishop Barres preached from the Gospel of John on the saving mission of Christ, through the power of His Holy Cross. The bishop reminded those in the Kellenberg community of the role of the Cross in salvation and how “the light of Christ’s mercy streams from his wounds and we celebrate the triumph of the Holy Cross.”
After the prayer service, Bishop Barres continued his visit of Kellenberg, first meeting with senior missionaries who participated in a mission trip to serve at the holy site of Lourdes, France this past summer. Joseph Tallini ’19 and Anya Murphy ’19 recalled their experience working with the people of Lourdes and serving the thousands of pilgrims who make their way to the grotto where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette 160 years ago. Several other students shared their experiences about the working the baths, working behind the scenes at the Notre Dame, a Lourdes pilgrim house, or working the daily processions for those who come to Lourdes every day. “Bishop Barres spoke about missionaries and spreading the faith and how it’s important to share our talents with others,” says Lourdes missionary Lauren Bernic ’19, “It was really nice to get all the Lourdes students together and talk about our time there and how we all were able to have our own experiences but also shared experiences with the whole group.”
Kellenberg’s School Chaplain, Fr. Thomas Cardone, S.M., remarked, “Each senior was touched by their faith in their experiences when sharing them with the Bishop.”
Fr. Tom brought Bishop Barres to the ETV studio next, where he was impressed by the quality of the work done by the ETV crew. They watched prayer videos, which are livestreamed every morning accompanying announcements, as well as a touching program made by Kellenberg students last year after the March for Life. The bishop’s visit ended with a tour of Kellenberg, including some of the newly renovated and updated classrooms, other areas of the building and the beginning of the athletic complex.
“The Kellenberg community lives the Joy of the Gospel with great vibrancy. Our Triumph of the Holy Cross prayer service showed the great unity and charity around the mission of the Catholic Church of the entire community,” Bishop Barres stated, going on to say, “I love hearing the students talk about their prayer lives, their love for the Eucharist and how that translates into living our Catholic faith in the global Catholic square. My episcopal motto is ‘Holiness and Mission.’ If we are holy, we have a missionary spirit. Kellenberg students inspire and evangelize all of Long Island by living these words of Saint John Paul II.”