Diocese Celebrates 19th Annual Mass for Those Dedicated to Education

Dear Lord, help us share your knowledge with gentle patience, and endeavor always to seek your truth.

By Michael Strammiello, Executive Editor, Four County Catholic

From the very beginning of the Mass for Those Dedicated to Education when the procession was still gathering in the vestibule of the Cathedral of St. Patrick on the morning of September 7, 2014, there was an unmistakable sense of the critical role of Catholic education in today’s unsettled world. The burden of an increasingly unstable world falls ultimately on the next generation. Those present at Mass — teachers, administrators, staff, coaches, counselors, parents, sponsors and students themselves — were united in their support of Catholic Education. Our children will be inheriting a world not particularly well-managed. They must be prepared. Prepared academically, spiritually and socially. Being there at Mass was one of those moments for everyone to pull together behind Bishop Michael R. Cote to bring new energy and resolve to the diocesan school effort.

Bishop Cote has been a champion of our schools through all the economic pressures in recent years. It was appropriate for this Mass to be dedicated to the Bishop this year with the acknowledgement and gratitude of the Mass Committee, chaired by Mary Ann Enright, Sacred Heart, Norwichtown.

Bishop Cote, the Principal Celebrant, spoke in his welcoming comments of the teacher’s obligation to teach respect, love and trust in the Risen Lord — “May all students,” noted Bishop Cote, “find the image of Christ the teacher in their teachers.”

Father Brian Romanowski, in his homily, recalled the public service announcements he remembered as a child watching TV. He made a connection to how as a community of faith, we must watch out for each other. How we and teachers in particular each have the responsibility and accountability to teach truth and respect. Teachers are, he described, “God’s watchers.” Teachers must impart respect in their students — respect for ourselves, for the dignity and well-being of others and respect for life itself from the unborn to the very old. And these love-centered teachings must be passed onto the next generation.

Reinforcing these principles, Bishop Cote in the commissioning prayer spoke of “...rededicating ourselves to our mission as parents, teachers, administrators, and support staff in education confirming and strengthening each other’s efforts in our common commitment and shared ministry.” It is the shared goals and united effort that embody the essence of the Mass for Those Dedicated to Education.

I noticed in the Mass program, an announcement of the upcoming Seton Scholarship Dinner at the Mystic Marriot, October 26. This has become a wonderful occasion of celebration and support for our diocesan schools. You may wish to check your calendar and call 860-886-1928 for reservations to join Bishop Cote that evening and be a part of the answer to securing quality education and a faith-centered learning experience for our children.