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Bishop Burbidge kicks off Catholic Schools Week in Springfield

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Renovations at St. Bernadette School in Springfield began last summer, but as the clock ticked down to the big reveal at a 10:30 a.m. open house Jan. 27, finishing touches were wrapping up at 5:30 a.m.

Improvements included new offices for the principal, assistant principal, registrar, curriculum coordinator and counselor, as well as a conference room, front reception area and a new, more secure front school entrance.

The following day, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge arrived to celebrate Mass, cut the ribbon and bless the fresh space.

Bishop Burbidge celebrated Mass in the adjacent church, with Father Donald J. Rooney, pastor, and Father Richard A. Miserendino, parochial vicar, concelebrating.

During his homily, Bishop Burbidge highlighted each word of this year’s Catholic Schools Week theme — “Learn, serve, lead and succeed.”

After Mass, the students presented the Bishop with greeting cards and a spiritual bouquet consisting of several paper cardinals placed on tree branches in a vase. On each cardinal, the school's mascot, students had written a prayer. 

Armed with a huge pair of scissors, the Bishop joined diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools Jennifer Bigelow, Principal Barbara Dalmut, Father Rooney and school staff for the official ribbon cutting.

Bishop Burbidge then blessed a pre-K classroom that was converted from an office space, and a hallway and renovated offices in Wisdom Hall.

While visiting each of the grades in their classrooms, he gave the students a chance to ask him questions and he did the same. They asked about his vestments, who would win the Super Bowl and how he became a bishop.

He asked the older students what movies they had seen recently that had a good message he might use in his homilies and what their favorite field trip was this year.

Dalmut said it was a blessing to have the Bishop there. “We have worked so hard to get our school up and running,” she said. “Father Rooney has done so much work on the renovations. This makes it feel like we are on the right track. It’s good affirmation that we are doing the right thing.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019