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The Beacon The Beacon September 15 2016 : Page 1

SUSSEX 6 40 DAYS FOR LIFE SETS STATEWIDE RALLY IN MORRISTOWN PASSAIC THE AWARDWINNING NEWSPAPER OF THE R.C. DIOCESE OF PATERSON, N.J. MORRIS SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 12 The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard T WO S CHOOL C OMMUNITIES B ECOME O NE Divine Mercy Academy opens Sept. 7, preserving Catholic education in the Rockaways BY MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR J UBILEE FOR D EACONS 7 11 NOTRE DAME PARISHIONERS BUILD FOUR HOMES IN GUATEMALA BISHOP PRESIDES AT GERMAN MASS AT PASSAIC PARISH 8 12 13-14 15-20 DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS O BITUARIES W HAT T O D O V IEWPOINT C LASSIFIEDS ROCKAWAY Amid great fanfare and excite-ment, Divine Mercy Academy has opened as a new Catholic school — the only one in the Rockaways — that offers its 237 students a wealth of offerings in curriculum, technology and extracurricular and faith-filled activities, thanks to expanded facilities and generous parish support. Divine Mercy Academy opened Sept. 7 dur-ing a blessing and dedication service and rib-bon cutting ceremony. The opening was attend-ed by the school community that included ad-ministration, faculty, students and parents. The new school merges the two Catholic schools in Rocka way that closed at the end of the 2015-2016 year: St. Cecilia’s and Sacred Heart. This summer, the building of the former St. Cecilia School on Halsey Avenue was refur-bished to house It’s the Divine Mercy hope and Academy, which promise of both St. Cecilia and Sacred Heart pari -things to shes support finan-come – a new cially. beginning.’ “We have closed — A NN M ITCHELL , PRINCIPAL both St. Cecilia and Sacred Heart Schools, which no longer exist, and blended them into a new ethos and new entity — a new creation: Divine Mercy Academy,” said Father Sigmund Peplowski pastor of both St. Cecilia and Sacred Heart parishes, who led the prayer and dedica-tion service, which included a ribbon cutting and blessing of the new school and a new im-age of Divine Mercy that is displayed in the lobby. “The opening generated excitement. When you walk into the building, you see all the smiling faces. It’s a positive and good feel-ing,” the pastor said. BEACON PHOTO | JOE GIGLI Bishop Serratelli was the principal celebrant of the Diocese’s first jubilee anniversary Mass for deacons Sept. 10 in St. Peter the Apostle Church in Parsippany. Deacons who are marking their 15th, 25th, 30th and 40th anniversaries of their ordination this year were honored. Pictured are deacons joining hands as they pray the “Our Father” during the anniversary Mass. A DVOCATING F OR T HOSE W ITH N O V OICE St. Paul’s Adults embarks on first-ever mission trip to care for disabled children in Dominican Republic for Year of Mercy BY MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR ‘ MERGE on 5 MADISON At first, Christopher Caulfield felt uncomfortable. The graduate student, now 23 years old, de-lighted being welcomed by the smiling children of Hogar Immanuel home for disabled children outside the city of Puerto Plata in the Domini -can Republic during a mission trip this sum-mer. But Caulfield also felt disheartened to see so many kids there living with severe physical and mental disabilities. Most of them are non-verbal and confined to their beds or wheel-chairs or use walkers. “It [seeing the disabled children] just hit me. I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do,” said Caulfield, who joined a team of nine young adults, from July 30 to Aug. 6, for a service trip to the Dominican Republic — the first such trip offered by the young-adult min-istry of St. Paul Inside the Walls: the Diocesan Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard here. “But after a while, these disabled children seemed normal. They smiled, sang and prayed in a morning ‘circle time’ activity. Then, we fed them for dinner. We formed relationships — re-al bonds — with these kids,” he said. The ministry — known as St. Paul’s Young Adults — stretched its arms of compassion be-yond the walls of the evangelization center to volunteer at the children’s home, run by Mus -tard Seed Communities (MSC). The faith-filled endeavor helped the missioners commemorate the universal Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy, said 29-year-old Stacy Nolan, mission trip coor-dinator, a St. Paul’s Young Adults member and St. Paul’s service project coordinator. During the trip, the young adults served MISSION TRIP on 3

Two School Communities Become One

Michael Wojcik

Divine Mercy Academy opens Sept. 7, preserving Catholic education in the Rockaways

BY MICHAEL WOJCIK

NEWS EDITOR

ROCKAWAY Amid great fanfare and excitement, Divine Mercy Academy has opened as a new Catholic school — the only one in the Rockaways — that offers its 237 students a wealth of offerings in curriculum, technology and extracurricular and faith-filled activities, thanks to expanded facilities and generous parish support.

Divine Mercy Academy opened Sept. 7 during a blessing and dedication service and ribbon cutting ceremony. The opening was attended by the school community that included administration, faculty, students and parents. The new school merges the two Catholic schools in Rocka way that closed at the end of the 2015- 2016 year: St. Cecilia’s and Sacred Heart. This summer, the building of the former St. Cecilia School on Halsey Avenue was refurbished to house Divine Mercy Academy, which both St. Cecilia and Sacred Heart pari - shes support financially.

“We have closed both St. Cecilia and Sacred Heart Schools, which no longer exist, and blended them into a new ethos and new entity — a new creation: Divine Mercy Academy,” said Father Sigmund Peplowski pastor of both St. Cecilia and Sacred Heart parishes, who led the prayer and dedication service, which included a ribbon cutting and blessing of the new school and a new image of Divine Mercy that is displayed in the lobby. “The opening generated excitement.

When you walk into the building, you see all the smiling faces. It’s a positive and good feeling,” the pastor said.

Bishop Serratelli plans to visit the classrooms at Divine Mercy Academy, after serving as main celebrant and homilist of the 8 a.m. Mass at St. Cecilia Church on Tuesday, Sept. 20, Father Peplowski said.

Capital improvements started on the former St. Cecilia School in June to make way for Divine Mercy Academy. The interior was repainted; a second pre-k 4 class was added; and a few classes were moved to other classrooms to make more space. Also, there are two gardens planted at the rear of the school: one to honor the Blessed Mother and another to harvest produce, such as tomatoes, some which will be donated to needy people, said Ann Mitchell, the principal.

Divine Mercy Academy also expanded the curriculum and technology beyond what both St. Cecilia’s and Sacred Heart schools had offered previously. The technology lab was moved from the main school to a nearby building, the Faustina Center, renamed for St. Faustina Kowalska, who promoted devotion to Divine Mercy. The center also houses the school’s gym and library. The academy offers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) instruction and hands-on technology with the student use of iPads, tablets, and Chromebooks. Every class has a SmartBoard. Overseeing all this technological innovation is Father Mateusz Jasniewicz, St. Cecilia’s and Sacred Heart’s parochial vicar, who also serves as the school’s webmaster and tech administrator, Mitchell said.

The revamped Divine Mercy Academy also enables more extracurricular activities. The school added the Rosary Society from Sacred Heart, while developing other newer activities, such as a robotics club. It also plans to offer a broad range of service projects — in keeping with its name and its mission to spread God’s mercy to the world, she said.

“We here at Divine Mercy Academy are building our students into future leaders by giving them not only a moral and religious foundation, but also the best education that we can,” Mitchell said.

Divine Mercy Academy helps form its students religiously and morally by giving them the opportunity to lead the school in prayer three times per day, attend weekly Mass and receive the Sacrament of Penance. The school hired Jim Clancy, faith-formation director of St. Cecilia Parish, as the new junior high religion teacher. Maintaining a presence in the school will be the parishes’ three priests: Father Peplowski, Father Jasniewicz and Father Marcin Michalowski, parochial vicar of both St. Cecilia’s and Sacred Heart and the academy’s chaplain, said Mitchell.

So far, Leo Servidio, a fourth-grader, seems happy with his new school. He had attended St. Cecilia’s since pre-K. “I didn’t know what would change [with the new Divine Mercy Academy]. I already knew some of the kids at Sacred Heart. I’m having fun here,” said Servidio, who named computers as his favorite subject.

Likewise, eighth-grader Jasmine Patel has been enjoying her new school. She spent fourth- through sixth-grade at St. Cecilia’s and seventh-grade at Sacred Heart.

“I know everyone from both schools, so it’s easier [to make the transition to the new school]. The teachers are great,” said Patel, whose mother teaches the fourth grade class at Divine Mercy Academy. “I like learning in a Catholic school, because we are all close and we can talk about God all together,” she said.

Kindergarten teacher Nina Roberti also Welcomes the newness of Divine Mercy Academy. She had taught at St. Cecilia’s for 22 years.

“This merger into Divine Mercy Academy had to happen for a Catholic school in the Rockaways to do well,” Roberti said. “I always wanted to teach in a Catholic school, so I can bring up God in class. I tell my kindergarteners, ‘God made the apples,’ show them one and then ask them, ‘Why did God make the apples different colors?’ ” she said.

When enrollment dipped at both St. Cecilia’s and Sacred Heart, Father Peplowski considered many options, finally deciding to blend the two schools into a single school. The pastor named the combined school Divine Mercy Academy to recognize the two Morris County parishes’ devotion to the Divine Mercy and because it opened during the Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy, which the universal Church celebrates through November, he said.

Divine Mercy Academy merges the two previous school communities by bringing many of their administration, students and teachers with the addition of two new faculty members. The new school also contains reminders of the former Sacred Heart School: its Sacred Heart of Jesus statue now stands outside the new school; its repainted cross sits on the side of the building; and students wear its red-and-white uniform colors — also the colors of Divine Mercy, Father Peplowski said.

“It’s very exciting to bring these two school communities together to form one new faith-filled community. We have more community spirit and parental involvement, because we have more parents,” said Mitchell, who noted that Divine Mercy Academy is almost at capacity but is still accepting students. “It’s the hope and promise of things to come — a new beginning.”

[Information: www.dmarockaway.org or call (973) 627-6003.]

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Two+School+Communities+Become+One/2586250/338839/article.html.

Advocating For Those With No Voice

Michael Wojcik

St. Paul’s Adults embarks on first-ever mission trip to care for disabled children in Dominican Republic for Year of Mercy

BY MICHAEL WOJCIK
NEWS EDITOR

MADISON At first, Christopher Caulfield felt uncomfortable.

The graduate student, now 23 years old, delighted being welcomed by the smiling children of Hogar Immanuel home for disabled children outside the city of Puerto Plata in the Domini - can Republic during a mission trip this summer. But Caulfield also felt disheartened to see so many kids there living with severe physical and mental disabilities. Most of them are nonverbal and confined to their beds or wheelchairs or use walkers.

“It [seeing the disabled children] just hit me. I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do,” said Caulfield, who joined a team of nine young adults, from July 30 to Aug. 6, for a service trip to the Dominican Republic — the first such trip offered by the young-adult ministry of St. Paul Inside the Walls: the Diocesan Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard here. “But after a while, these disabled children seemed normal. They smiled, sang and prayed in a morning ‘circle time’ activity. Then, we fed them for dinner. We formed relationships — real bonds — with these kids,” he said.

The ministry — known as St. Paul’s Young Adults — stretched its arms of compassion beyond the walls of the evangelization center to volunteer at the children’s home, run by Mus - tard Seed Communities (MSC). The faith-filled endeavor helped the missioners commemorate the universal Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy, said 29-year-old Stacy Nolan, mission trip coordinator, a St. Paul’s Young Adults member and St. Paul’s service project coordinator.

During the trip, the young adults served Alongside the professional caregivers, occupational therapists and teachers for dozens of children with physical and mental disabilities — among the most vulnerable of this poor area. The team — which included St. Paul’s Adults and friends — also interacted with MSC, which works to help the community around Puerto Plata overcome extreme poverty in sustainable ways, Nolan said.

“The children got excited, screamed and laughed. They warmed us to us during the week. Because of their dedicated caregivers, they feel loved and cared for,” said Nolan, a veteran of numerous previous mission trips, including several with MSC. “Only two of our team members in the Dominican Re - pub lic ever went on a mission trip before. Everyone just jumped in and took on new challenges and opportunities,” she said.

The team remained available to the children — praying and singing with them during “circle time,” playing with them and feeding them at dinner. The children range from 5 to 28 years old. The children’s home that cares for them lies in a coastal area close to the Haitian border in the center of the island of Hispaniola and is located 15 minutes from Puerto Plata, said Nolan, one of several teachers on the trip.

During the week, Caulfield — who previously served with Engineers Without Borders in Haiti — bonded with Angel, a non-verbal 3- or 4-year-old boy, who is confined to a wheelchair.

“Angel just wanted to hold my hand.
He would smile,” said Caulfield — a St. Paul’s Young Adults member and a graduate student in neurobiology at New York University — who described the impoverished area of Puerto Plata as dotted with modest concrete houses topped by tin roofs and in disrepair. “Over time, it was easier to see the good things that these kids have in their lives. They are very loving and hopeful, despite their disabilities,” he said.

In locations around the world, MSC are involved with children and adults with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS, nutrition, education, sustainable agriculture, community development and teen mothers and their babies. MSC employs more than 300 local workers, “offering jobs, training and economic viability to people who would otherwise have no opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty. MSC strives to introduce skills into the community and to empower its people,” MSC states on its web site, www.mustardseed.com.

“We are working towards helping our apostolates become fully self-sufficient through sustainable agriculture. Our hope is that this will improve the quality of life for our residents, while fostering a sense of responsibility within the local community,” MSC states.

On the summer mission trip, the team also undertook capital improvements to the children’s home, actually a compound with several buildings. They performed landscaping, planted a vegetable garden, flower garden and cornfield and installed drain - age, Nolan said.

The young adults spent some of their evenings, gathered to pray and “reflect on what’s important: advocating with our voices for those who do not have a voice.” Living so far out of their “comfort zone” without cell phones, they found it much easier to connect with each other, Nolan said.

In recent years, members of St. Paul’s Young Adults have expressed interest in undertaking a mission trip. While most team members have never engaged in such an experience, they have been active in their faith in various ways. Since their return, they have gotten together to “process the trip and chat about how difficult it has been to get back to life in the U.S.,” after having lived so simply, Nolan said.

“In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we lived and breathed the Corporal Works of Mercy — going outside ourselves to wash the feet of the poor and put food in their mouths — and the Spiritual Works of Mercy — praying for them and for us to be more focused on the world,” Nolan said. “Since coming back from the Dominican Republic, missioners have been inspired to get more involved in living their faith. They have a renewed sense of responsibility to help others in different ways,” she said.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Advocating+For+Those+With+No+Voice/2586251/338839/article.html.

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