MND celebrates 150th anniversary with Mass at cathedral
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
By David Eck
ARCHDIOCESE — It’s not many high schools that can claim to have had the daughters of a major Civil War hero as students. But U.S. General William Tecumseh Sherman sent two daughters to study at Mount Notre Dame Academy, a boarding school on the top of a hill in Reading, a town north of Cincinnati. That academy is now Mount Notre Dame High School (MND).
|From left Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Rita Sturwold, president of Mount Notre Dame High School; Maureen Baldock, principal; and Jenna Pilipovich, senior class vice-president, pray during the Mass. (CT/Tony Tribble)|
The story is a part of the rich history the school is celebrating as it begins its 150th year in the same location. The anniversary was highlighted Sept. 17 with an all-school Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains.
Coadjutor Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr celebrated the Mass with six concelebrants with ties to the school.
The Mass featured pageantry and remembrances of the past as students, teachers, alumni, parents and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur thanked God for His blessings on the school.
The opening procession included representatives from Mount Notre Dame classes going back more than 60 years, along with current students representing the parishes to which Mount Notre Dame students belong.
In a homily written by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, who was originally scheduled to celebrate the Mass, Archbishop Schnurr said that anniversaries are not only a time for looking back, but for looking toward the future as well.
“Jesus isn’t finished with His world yet,” Archbishop Schnurr said. “There is still work to be done.”
|Mount Notre Dame students participate during the Mass. From left are freshman Ellie Sennett, senior Gabrielle Maresco and freshman Briana Young. (CT/Tony Tribble)|
The Mass was streamed live on the Internet, and Cincinnati Councilman Greg Harris read a proclamation designating Sept. 17 Mount Notre Dame Day in Cincinnati.
Betty Ann Gears Kelly, a 1942 MND graduate, and Maggie Lehman, this year’s youngest freshman, participated in the offertory procession.
“Mount Notre Dame is fun, and I think the 150th anniversary has made it more fun and exciting, especially for the freshmen,” said Lehman, a parishioner at St. Bartholomew Parish in Cincinnati, where she is an extraordinary minister and lector. “Our school is one of the oldest schools and I think that is a great honor.”
School officials are also recognizing the anniversary each Wednesday this school year by reading segments of the school’s history over the intercom.
“They show us pictures of the [former] school and it makes us realize how old it is,” said Erin Conklin, a Mount Notre Dame junior and parishioner at Good Shepherd Parish in Cincinnati. “I think it’s really cool to be part of this milestone.”
Other anniversary events included Spirit Day Sept. 18, during which students dressed in their class color, and a Broken Cookie Workshop with author and entrepreneur Amily Antonetti at Xavier University on Sept. 19.
Archbishop Schnurr thanked the school community for coming to St. Peter in Chains.
“I pray that all the years ahead are filled with blessings and great joy for Mount Notre Dame,” he said. “This is a year of jubilation and celebration for all of us.”
David Eck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.