“Spirituality Day” traditionally kicks off the Catholic school year in the Diocese of Wilmington and while coronavirus has done its best to derail so many cherished routines, this milestone came off without a hitch at Saint Mark’s High School.
A fraction of the usual crowd — about 50 or so people — gathered in-person with Bishop Malooly and school administrators, but the vast majority joined the day virtually via livestream on the diocese YouTube channel.
“The signs are good for us to have a good year,” Bishop Malooly told assembled educators at the beginning of Mass, launching the day that included a keynote speech from Father Daniel Joyce of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and recognition for dozens of Catholic educators celebrating milestone anniversaries in the diocese.
The bishop highlighted “Called to Serve” the theme of this year for diocesan schools.
“It’s the primary mission as a Catholic school educator, to serve one another,” the bishop said.
Bishop Malooly said he’s seen first-hand how people young and old, especially in education environments, have learned to work to restrict the spread of COVID-19.
“Wear masks. Social distance. Wash hands,” the bishop said. “And love your neighbor more than you love yourselves.
The bishop thanked the educators for their commitment to faith in education.
“When you think of a classroom … the teaching of the apostles … you provide that,” he said.
“Our task this year is going to be very complex, a lot more challenging for each of you in your schools. I’m very grateful that people have worked so closely together to give us a great start.”
“Be holy, be joyful, be the face of Jesus,” the bishop told educators as schools open this week. “Be careful, for your sake and for everyone else.”
Lou De Angelo, diocese superintendent of schools, encouraged educators to “speak hope.”
“We need to be the positive force,” he told them. “You and I are the work of the Lord and missions of Catholic education.”
De Angelo also spoke of the year’s theme.
“Do whatever it takes to be of service,” he said. “We are called to the front line as essential personnel. Let us follow those who proceeded us with the same same commitment and same determination.
“Our school plans will only be as effective as those who administrate them.”