Catholic Free Press

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  • Feb
  • 7

‘The standard of Jesus’

Posted By February 7, 2013 | 12:49 pm | Featured Article #1
St. Bernard CCHS Mass 020WEB

By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

FITCHBURG – Bishop McManus came to St. Bernard Central Catholic High School last week to celebrate Mass. The occasion was Catholic Schools Week, an annual event held the last week of January.
This year’s theme for was “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.”
“What standards are we talking about?” Bishop McManus asked the assembly of high-school-aged Bernardians, as well as younger students from the two Fitchburg parochial schools, St. Anthony and St. Bernard Elementary schools.
“The standard must be the standard of Jesus Christ,” he answered.
His homily then led into the greatest commandment, which is “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and the second great commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The bishop’s visit coincided with the feast of St. John Bosco. This saint was born in Turin in the mid-1800s. His first assignment was to go the city jail and minister to the prisoners, Bishop McManus explained.
“He was horrified at the condition of the prisoners,” he continued, noting that the prisoners had brought their children to the jail, and the children were treated terribly.
St. John Bosco then began to teach these children. By the end of his life, St. John Bosco had founded a string of schools that enrolled many students, Bishop McManus explained.
“He looked at each child as a creature of God, made in the image of God, with a dignity nobody had a right to take away,” said Bishop McManus. “That is the standard he held up and that is the standard we must hold up.”
The bishop also spoke about an email he received just before Christmas, from a man working with the diocesan schools office. The man had recently visited St. Bernard Central Catholic High School and was very impressed with what he saw.
The visit also moved him to write a glowing letter to the editor of the local Sentinel & Enterprise about his visit.
This man, related the bishop, was moved by “a generosity of staff that keeps on giving despite tight payrolls and restricted budgets.”
Bishop McManus encouraged the students gathered in the auditorium to let their light shine for the world to see.
“You don’t take the source of light and put it under a bushel basket,” he noted, adding that a lamp should be set high on a lamp stand for others to see.
Superintendent  Delma Josephson, also at the Mass,  said the high school is building connections with the elementary schools so the younger students become familiar with high school options.
“It gives them an opportunity to learn a little bit about the school, to visit it and to begin to make connections.”