Not so long ago the ground upon which St. John Neumann Church was built was rich farm soil that produced abundant harvests in Lancaster County. Today, that same ground is still producing fertile growth as a new school now graces the parish campus.
Bishop Ronald Gainer blessed the new school on Sept. 24 in an outdoor, social distanced setting where students and faculty gathered.
“This is such an exciting time for you, the parish family and our Diocese,” Bishop Gainer said in his remarks. “It is a wonderful, wonderful day for all of us – a new chapter of Catholic education here in Lancaster.”
After blessing and addressing the students and faculty, Bishop Gainer was led on a tour of the school by Father Daniel Powell, pastor, and by the school’s principal, Kyla Hockley.
Throughout the school are many tributes and memories to St. Anne’s School, which merged its student body into the new school. The rich history of St. Anne’s can be seen in historical photos on display that date back well into the 20th Century. The trophy case in the school’s lobby also highlights St. Anne’s storied history of academic and athletic excellence. It is the rich history of St. Anne’s that is melding with St. John Neumann School’s growing future.
“It still is a time to choose joy and gratitude despite all the challenges we face today,” Bishop Gainer said. “The mission of Catholic schools yesterday and today has always been to make disciples of men and that remains our goal because that is the commission Jesus gave to us all.”
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness