Bishop Salvatore Matano visited Holy Cross School on Friday, January 31 in celebration of Catholic Schools Week. His visit began with the celebration of Mass for faculty, students and parents and concluded with a tour of the school.
Fathers Thomas Wheeland and John Reif concelebrated Mass with His Excellency, with Deacon Joe Placious assisting. Father Daniel White, the bishop’s secretary, served as Master of Ceremonies.
Three altar boys served at Mass while another two, clad in vimpas (vimpae?), held the bishop’s crozier and miter when His Excellency did not need them.
At communion time the congregation received only the consecrated bread, which was distributed by ordained clergy. Near the end of Communion His Excellency led the congregation in kneeling if front of the open tabernacle while the choir members received the Body of Our Lord.
After Mass the bishop posed for pictures and then headed for the school. He dropped in on several classrooms and was a hit in each one.
In a kindergarten class a little boy, apparently impressed with episcopal regalia, asked His Excellency, “Are you a saint?” “No, but I’m working very hard to become one,” was the reply – after the laughter had died down.
In another class a student asked about his pectoral cross. He explained that a bishop wears one as a constant reminder that he needs to take up his cross daily if he is to be successful in leading the flock assigned to him. He then went on to explain the provenance of his particular cross (it originally belonged to the bishop who had confirmed him as a child and he is the third bishop to wear it) and then told the children that it was very special in that it contained a relic of the True Cross. Then, turning the cross over and removing a protective covering, he showed them the tiny bit of wood, leading one child to remark, “That’s a part of the actual cross Jesus was nailed to? Wow!”
In each class the bishop ended his visit by reminding the children that their parents worked very hard and sacrificed much to send them to a Catholic school and he asked them to see if they could try very hard to be especially helpful to their parents that weekend as a sign of their gratitude.
All the photos of Bishop Matano’s visit may be viewed either here or in the following slideshow.