Members of the Holy Trinity School community – including students, parents, faculty, administrators and pastors – celebrate the official opening of their new school, located on the grounds of St. Patrick Parish in York. The first day of school on Aug. 21 featured a red-carpet welcome, Mass celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gainer, and a ribbon cutting led by Vice Principal Margaret Snyder and Principal Kathleen Smith, far right.

Members of the Holy Trinity School community – including students, parents, faculty, administrators and pastors – celebrate the official opening of their new school, located on the grounds of St. Patrick Parish in York. The first day of school on Aug. 21 featured a red-carpet welcome, Mass celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gainer, and a ribbon cutting led by Vice Principal Margaret Snyder and Principal Kathleen Smith, far right.

The celebration of the inaugural first day at the new Holy Trinity School in York illustrated the excitement, energy and faith-filled love already in existence there.

A combination of the former St. Joseph School in Dallastown and the former St. Patrick School in York, Holy Trinity – located in the former St. Patrick’s building – opened its doors with a celebration that featured a school-wide Mass, a red carpet walk and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The kids will have happy stories to tell when they get home, right from the first day. Moving forward, it will be a wonderful opportunity for all of them to be here at Holy Trinity,” said Margaret Snyder, Vice Principal.

Students were treated to a red-carpet welcome, as teachers formed a line to high-five them as they arrived on Aug. 21. To begin the day, members of the school community joined faculty, staff and the student body for Mass celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gainer.

“Don’t you look great!” Bishop Gainer exclaimed, looking at rows of PreK through sixth-graders dressed in matching Holy Trinity School t-shirts.

“It’s wonderful to begin together this brand new school year and a brand new school. What a great day!” he told the students.

“This Catholic school is going to – as the tradition of our Catholic education must – keep us centered on our faith and on the person of Jesus Christ,” Bishop Gainer said. “I know wonderful things will happen this year – all the activities and lessons and everything that’s a part of Holy Trinity School, and that the love of Jesus will always dominate what happens here.”

Following the Mass, the school community congregated at the school’s entrance for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, which resulted in boisterous cheers before students made their way to classrooms.

Altar servers Maggie McKeague, Jonathan Taveras and Amari Rivera-Spencer join in the Entrance Procession during Mass celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gainer.

Altar servers Maggie McKeague, Jonathan Taveras and Amari Rivera-Spencer join in the Entrance Procession during Mass celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gainer.

“As a teacher, I spend time in the summer thinking of new, fun things to bring into the classroom. To do this now in a new place with new students is exciting. I’m looking forward to adding new spins into my class here at Holy Trinity,” said third-grade teacher Jennifer Dodson.

“In a Catholic school, I feel like I can really reach my students by working along the lines of getting to their beliefs, their morals and our Catholic values. That’s very important to help our kids grow today,” she said.

First-grade teacher Lynda Starceski said she is eager to see the synergy and ideas that result from bringing the two former schools together at Holy Trinity.

“I’m very excited. I’m in a new room and we have a new school as we join together. It’s like a spark that you need every now and then to liven things up,” she said. “I firmly believe that Holy Trinity School will keep the presence of Catholic education in the city of York.”

Principal Kathleen Smith said students at Holy Trinity will be the beneficiaries of the best offerings from St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s, including a Spanish class, music and band programs, clubs and service opportunities.

“We have a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in our community – not only in our Catholic community, but in our city as well,” Smith said. “I’m excited and filled with joy about what’s going to come.”

(Learn more about Holy Trinity School at https://htcsyork.org or call 717-854-8263.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness