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St. Dom’s opens school year with special Mass, awards ceremony

The Bishop asked the students to be honest and speak the truth in their relationships with each other.

Hundreds of students, teachers, parents, and community members gathered inside the gymnasium of Saint Dominic Academy’s Auburn campus on Thursday, August 24, as Bishop Robert P. Deeley celebrated a special afternoon Mass to offer his blessings upon the Saint Dominic Academy family at the start of a new school year. Among the concelebrants were Fr. Timothy Nadeau, Pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston, and Fr. Seamus Griesbach, Academy Chaplain and Director of Vocations for the diocese. Students from the academy’s Lewiston campus were bussed to Auburn for the Mass.

After earning a large round of applause for giving the students an extra day off later in the year (“The bishop gets to do things like that!”), Bishop Deeley gave the students a couple of other things to think about as they return to school.

“Be honest. Speak the truth in all of your relationships. If you don’t, then people who want to help us, can’t help us,” said the bishop. “They won’t really know what’s on your mind. Be honest about who you are and acknowledge who each person is. Be honest with each other and find our common good in each other. St. Dom’s is a community.”

The bishop reminded the students that focusing on what is good about one another instead of differences will help to create a healthy school environment. “Gossiping is harmful. Remember, by characterizing people for reasons like the size they are, or the height they are, or the race they are, we take away from the truth that makes us a community.” 

He characterized living in truth in the way students speak to and about each other as a part of strengthening that community. “People will come in and say ‘Wow, people in the St. Dom’s community get along so well. They all take care of each other. They all truly love each other,’” he continued. “Love is not just a word. Love is a reality which requires us to work, to make love happen. Enter the school year determined to be honest and truthful and to treat each other in the way that God calls us to.”

At the end of the Mass, Academy President Donald Fournier and Marjorie Clifford presented the Anne Elizabeth Murphy Lampal Scholarship, created by Mrs. Clifford in honor of her daughter, Anne, a 1984 graduate of Saint Dominic Academy who died from cancer in 2008. The scholarship is awarded each year to St. Dom’s students who excel in the classroom and display a commitment to enriching the academy community. This year’s recipients were seniors Madison Leslie, Janelle Bryant, and Amelie Crowe.

During their visit, Bishop Deeley and Jim King, Superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools, were presented with 2016-17 Saint Dominic Academy yearbooks by representatives of the yearbook staff.

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