SECURITY. On Feb. 3, Catholic schools in the Diocese of Colorado Springs gathered at St. Dominic Church in Security for the annual All Schools Mass celebrating Catholic Schools Week. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Michael Sheridan and concelebrated by several diocesan priests.
Bishop Sheridan’s homily, in which he focused on the importance of speaking the truth in spite of sometimes negative consequences, was based on the day’s Gospel reading on the beheading of St. John the Baptist by Herod.
“The truth can be scary,” Bishop Sheridan said. “How many times do we shy away from truth — we’d rather actually tell a lie. Because we’re afraid that if we tell the truth something will happen to us or maybe somebody else.” In contrast, “John actually presented Jesus, the Truth, to the world.”
“Our Catholic schools exist to speak and to introduce the truth, Jesus, who is the Truth, to all of you,” he explained. “But it’s a sobering moment because we saw, for speaking and living the truth, John — and so many other Christians in history — it brought them to their death. Think of how many of our Christian brothers and sisters, especially in the Middle East, are being killed regularly. Why? Because they live the truth; because they’re Christians. So living and speaking the truth may take courage, because it can sometimes mean that others may turn against us. But that’s alright. The Lord is with us. We have nothing to be afraid of.”
The Mass included the blessing of the throat in recognition of the Feast of St. Blaise.
After communion, awards were presented to several teachers. Tenure awards were given to staff members who reached 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of service, with Janet Damerell of Divine Redeemer earning a 20-year award, the longest for this year.
Recognition awards were also presented. Kathy Weishaupl of Ave Maria and Leslie Versace of Holy Apostles Preschool received the St. Peter the Rock Award, which goes to support staff who have provided excellent service.
The St. John Bosco Award, given to a teacher “who has demonstrated excellence in instructional innovation,” went to Patty Jumper, kindergarten teacher at Divine Redeemer.
The St. Andre Bessette Award for new teachers who are “an example of Christian teaching and living in our world” was presented to Andrea Joiner, first-year middle-school teacher at St. Paul, and to Cristina Priddy, a middle-school teacher at St. Peter.
Corpus Christi’s Veronica Nuvolini earned the Christ the Teacher Award, given to a teacher “who personifies the ideal” teacher by demonstrating excellence in teaching as well as in Christian service.
Two winners of the Catch the Spirit Award were chosen in honor of their “hard work and dedication to Catholic schools.” They were Stan Turpin of Divine Redeemer and Delphine Rose-McKerny of Holy Apostles Preschool.