The Lebanon Catholic School community of students, families, faculty members, alumni and supporters gathered on Assumption Hill Sept. 1 for a “back to school” Mass that included the blessing of the school’s renovated gym by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.
The gym is the hub of activities at Lebanon Catholic, which enrolls students in PreK-12, and the site of the first community-wide liturgy that kicked off the start of a new school year.
The gathering showcased the best of Lebanon Catholic: its faith-based education, talents and service of students as altar servers and musicians, support of alumni and the home of athletics and the arts.
The Mass was celebrated for the intention of Edward Werth ’47, longtime assistant girls’ basketball coach and father of Patti Hower, girls’ basketball coach. Werth died on July 27.
In his homily, Bishop Rhoades, a 1975 graduate and current Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, spoke of the example of humility that the Blessed Mother offers, as she “lived as the lowly handmaid of the Lord.”
“To be humble means to be truthful about ourselves,” he said, noting that the word “humility” comes from the Latin word humus, which means earth or soil.
Humility, he said, “is the fundamental virtue of the Christian life.”
The renovations to the freshly painted gym include energy efficient LED lights, new basketball backboards and winches to raise them when not in use, and a refinished floor. The installation of a new stage curtains and a permanent sound system are on the horizon, along with a sign donated by the Class of 2019 that will read, “Welcome to Assumption Hill.”
The renovations were made by possible by a generous benefactor from the Class of 1958 and proceeds from last year’s Aaron’s Rhythm and Brews Festival, an annual event that celebrates the life of Aaron Neubauer, ’97, who died in 2015.
Coupled with the recent addition of new bleachers and new chairs for the floor, the renovations have generated a fresh and welcoming space at Lebanon Catholic.
Principal Deb Waters, ’94, noted that the gym serves as “our Church for liturgical celebrations, our theatre for musicals and plays, our auditorium for assemblies and graduation, our classroom for Phys Ed classes, our sports venue for volleyball and basketball, and our multi-purpose space for fundraisers, gatherings and events for students, donors, alumni and the community. As this is the space that most of our visitors pass through, our renovation shows the care and stewardship worthy of the service it performs, and provides a safe and clean atmosphere for those who gather there.”
“We are honored to host Bishop Kevin Rhoades ’75, the many alumni who returned, the staff and faculty, and so many of our current families for this event,” Waters said of the Mass and blessing. “By having this gym blessed – this space that serves so many purposes here on Assumption Hill – I pray that all of the activities that take place here and the individuals who gather here continue to give honor and glory to God!” Waters said. “We are already blessed by the many benefactors whose generosity demonstrates their faith in the vitality and future of our school.”
(Learn more about Lebanon Catholic School at www.lebanoncatholicschool.org or by calling the school at 717-273-3731.)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness