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Roanoke Catholic celebrates Opening School Mass


Classes may have begun a week ago here at Roanoke Catholic, but in many ways today felt like the first day of school as we celebrated our Opening School Mass.

Fr. Matt at Roanoke Catholic School MassNearly 500 students plus teachers, staff, and some parents too, filled St. Andrew’s Catholic Church. We welcomed newly ordained Fr. Matt Kiehl, our new campus chaplain, who celebrated Mass. While our teachers have been assigning home work, Fr. Matt gave all gathered some “soul work.” His assignments:

  1. Stay close to the Lord. Pray each day. Go to church regularly. Stay in communication with God.
  2. Support each other. Be encouraging. Be kind. Be present when a classmate is in trouble.
  3. Lead others to the Lord. Be an example of a Godly life.

He concluded: “If we do these three things then the light of Jesus Christ will shine in our hearts, in our school, and in our homes.”

Outside after Mass, teacher Angie Purcell watched her as her 2nd grade class scampered on the mall. This is Mrs. Purcell’s first year teaching at Roanoke Catholic, having recently been hired from a local public school.

“It was quite possibly the most beautiful event I have ever experienced,” she says of her first school Mass. “I started the day thinking, ‘I get to go to Mass today!’ To watch these kids from the youngest to the old ones and seeing them engaged … it changes their whole educational experience because God is in the middle of it. It gives us teachers the ability to see them through different eyes.”

Roanoke Catholic School sign of peace at Opening School Mass