The Kellenberg Memorial 2020-2021 school year has brought its many changes and alterations. But, it has also brought a great deal of ingenuity and creativity to continue traditions and activities that are near and dear to the community at large. One of these Kellenberg traditions: School Masses. Through the dedication and leadership of our school chaplains Father Thomas Cardone, S.M., Father Daniel Griffin, S.M., ’02, and the Director of Apostolic Activities, Mr. Bryan Finn, ’96, socially distanced masses for students began a little over two weeks ago.
When asked about the importance of continuing with School Masses, Father Tom remarked, “Our Union with Christ in the Eucharist is a fundamental relationship for believers. It is through relationship that we as a faculty draw students to Jesus. With Mass, the kids are in relationship with Christ and with each other.”
Mr. James O’Brien added, “By this point in the school year, students would have attended a school dance, taken part in an Evening of Recollection, and participated in a homeroom competition. We are trying to find creative ways to develop this camaraderie and family dynamic that Kellenberg introduces to students.” And in a time of being socially distant, creating relationships and fostering community has never been more important.
Bridget McLaughlin, ’24 shared, “I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in Mass under the tent. I enjoyed praying with so many of my classmates, and being outside was a refreshing change of atmosphere. It was a reminder of how thankful I am that Kellenberg is still providing us with great opportunities to grow in our faith. I love how Kellenberg is about not just learning the faith but living it out.”
In searching for a theme for School Masses this year, the newly beatified Blessed Carlo Acutis seemed like the perfect choice. Father Tom explained, “We thought he would be a good witness to our teenagers to help them grow in holiness through the love of the Eucharist. Blessed Carlo was a regular kid: a soccer player and a genius when it came to computers. He used technology in a positive way to communicate and to evangelize. As a Christian, he was prayerful and considerate and would visit churches to pray and recite the Daily Rosary. Blessed Carlo was tied very strongly to Mass, Adoration, and the Eucharist. I think for us, we traditionally look for themes that capture the spiritual imagination of young people.”
Mr. Bryan Finn stated, “I am so grateful to Father Tom and Father Dan for presiding over 30 masses so far for our KMHS students and staff. Since the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Faith, we have a responsibility as a Catholic school to nourish our students’ souls. In this time of COVID, we have the choice to be bitter or better. Jesus had every opportunity to be bitter but He made the choice to make the world better. The ARK’s goal is to make our students better through receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.”