The Schools of Saint Mary welcomed the Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, to campus on May 13, 2022, for a panoramic visit with students, faculty, and administrators. Upon arrival at St. Mary’s, a welcoming committee greeted Bishop Barres, which kicked off the tone for how great the day would be with each passing minute. The first stop on his tour was the elementary school, where he met with administrators and toured the building for an overview of classroom activities and lessons in progress. Even the youngest learners were excited to see our good shepherd as he made his way through the halls. Students presented the Bishop with Spiritual Bouquets and had a chance to interact with him in the classrooms. The spirit-filled tour continued to Immaculata Hall, where the Bishop joined the primary grade students to preview a scene from the middle school’s production of Aladdin Jr., scheduled to open that evening. The cast and crew delighted their audience with their talent.
The walking tour continued across campus to Marist Hall, where the Bishop learned first-hand about the successful college placement of soon-to-be graduates of the Class of 2022, who serve as Senior Shepherds at the school. They shared insights about living their faith and serving their community through Campus Ministry. He sat down with student government members to discuss their efforts this past year and future projects in preliminary stages. The NY State Championship Girls Basketball Team enjoyed a discussion about their season and learned of the Bishop’s love for the sport he once played for his alma mater, Princeton University. After engaging in spiritual dialogue with students in their Catholic Convivium Encounter Groups, Bishop Barres sat down for a round-table discussion with faculty members of both the elementary and high school. They each had the opportunity to speak as witnesses to sharing the Gospel and highlighted their innovations for presenting the Catholic faith to students.
Fr. Bob noted, “with Bishop Barres on campus, our school community could not have felt more joyful to welcome him for the pastoral visit. I was incredibly proud of our students, who engaged in conversation and spoke of their faith with such love and devotion while representing our schools – our St. Mary’s family. We are grateful to Bishop Barres for his time, wisdom, and prayerful presence.”