May crowning at St. William of York

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A beautiful spring day was the backdrop for May crowning and the anniversary of the church's dedication at St. William of York Church in Stafford, the first time the two events have fallen on the same day. The church was dedicated 59 years ago - May 6, 1956 - by Richmond Bishop Peter L. Ireton.

Last week, Father Anthony Killian, parochial vicar, celebrated Mass for parishioners and students from the parish school, and the student choir performed. Father Killian thanked the parishioners for "helping to make St. William of York the special place that it is."

After Mass, the students, faculty and staff processed to the statue of Our Lady with dozens of flowers in hand. The second-grade class, who received their first Communion the Saturday before and dressed in their first Communion finery, led the procession while singing "Immaculate Mary." Father Killian said a special blessing and encouraged the students to come visit Mary, especially during the month of May.

"The crowning was all part of (our) efforts to build an 'authentic Catholic culture' at St. William of York Catholic School," said Principal Frank Nicely.

After the crowning, students came forward to place their flowers at the feet of Mary until she was surrounded by small floral sea.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015