Songs, Socks, and Success: Bishop Deeley Hits All Saints Catholic School in Bangor
BANGOR---From the warm smiles of staff to the walls serving as proud displays of the creativity of children from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, All Saints Catholic School in Bangor is a special and welcoming place, a fact clearly observable during Bishop Robert Deeley’s visit to both campuses of the school on Monday, January 30, as part of the All Saints celebration of Maine Catholic Schools Week (over 30 pictures below).
There is plenty to celebrate at All Saints these days, including Sunday’s announcement that the school has received institutional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), an achievement made visible with a large sign now hanging inside the front doors of the St. Mary Campus.
The school has fun activities and special events scheduled all week to commemorate Maine Catholic Schools Week, including Monday, which was “Silly Sock Day.” The students gifted a pair of socks with pictures of saints on them for the bishop to wear, but he was prepared.
“I wore my red lobster socks!” Bishop Deeley shared with the students, who were glad the bishop joined in the fun.
The students were so grateful for his visit that they presented him with handmade gifts in each classroom, including a book about the things Bishop Deeley does like “teaching about Jesus and the Church”; a large bouquet of paper flowers that contain a prayer on each petal; a cross made of the thumbprints of pre-kindergarteners, and a pile of beautifully drawn cards. The third graders also shared their elaborate presentations on Bangor history to the bishop.
In kindergarten, the bishop read Jesus Came to Visit Me and fielded a “range” of questions.
“How old are you?” asked Carson. “My sister is ten.”
“Oh well I’m eleven,” responded the bishop.
In a touching moment, one girl asked Bishop Deeley why Mary said “yes” to God.
“Well, Mary loved God so much,” said the bishop. “She knew God was asking her to do something, and she believed that God would watch over her and care for her. And do you know what? He always did. Mary is our role model for that because she reminds us that God is always with us, and God loves us.”
After being serenaded by the students who lined the halls of the elementary campus, Bishop Deeley made the short drive to the St. John Campus to spend time with the older students, an experience that featured the fourth graders detailed and researched presentations on Native Americans, discussing the sacrament of reconciliation with sixth graders, and being treated to a demonstration by the school’s award-winning robotics team and a tour of its amazing lab given by seventh graders. The fifth graders gave the bishop a “snow globe” it made with the bishop’s picture in the center, and they read a special poem they had written for the occasion entitled “I am Bishop Deeley” which included the many things the bishop represents to the Church in Maine.
The bishop asked the eighth graders, who will graduate from All Saints in June, what they loved about the school.
“It’s the best education,” said one student.
“Everyone knows you, and the teachers and staff care about you,” said an eighth-grade girl.
“You become closer to God,” said a boy.
All Saints also launched its Maine Catholic Schools Week service project which will collect hundreds of pairs of adult socks to assist the local homeless.
Bishop Deeley was joined on his visit by Monsignor Andrew Dubois, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish of which All Saints Catholic School is a part; Deacon Luis Sanclemente of St. Paul the Apostle; Matthew Houghton, principal of All Saints; and Marianne Pelletier, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools.
Bishop Deeley also enjoyed a delicious lunch with the All Saints’ middle school staff and local clergy before departing. For coverage of Maine Catholic Schools Week, including stories and pictures, follow along on www.portlanddiocese.org, www.facebook.com/PortlandDiocese, and www.instagram.com/PortlandDiocese. To learn more about Catholic schools throughout Maine, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/schools.