DENVILLE Bishop Serratelli helped St. Mary’s Prep here conclude celebrations that marked the school’s 60th anniversary by serving as main celebrant of a vigil Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Lent March 21 in St. Mary Church.
Members of St. Mary’s community, including former and current parish clergy and school staff, teachers, students and parents, filled the church for the 5 p.m. Mass. Concelebrating with Bishop Serratelli were: Father Martin Glynn, pastor; Father Richard Tartaglia, parochial vicar; Father Thomas Fallone, class of 1984 and pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Boonton; Father David McDonnell, former St. Mary’s parochial vicar and pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Sparta; and Father Kevin Corcoran, the bishop’s priest-secretary. Father Fallone delivered the homily.
“Tonight, we celebrate the vibrancy of St. Mary’s — the sense of giving, family, faith, community and learning,” Margaret McCluskey, St. Mary’s principal, told alumni and other guests of a dinner that was held in the parish hall following the anniversary Mass. “Share the stories, keep the memories and use the faith-based education given here to make a positive difference in your lives and those of others.”
During the Mass, Bishop Serratelli congratulated St. Mary’s for “supporting Catholic education for 60 years.” Also speaking at the dinner were Holy Cross Brother William Dygert, diocesan school superintendent; Sister of the Sorrowful Mother Mary Joan Philips, a former principal; and Denville Mayor Thomas Andes, who read a proclamation in honor of the anniversary.
This academic year, St. Mary’s has celebrated its anniversary with a full schedule of activities, including classroom visits by alumni during Catholic Schools Week. The school also unveiled an impressive, three-part painted mural that students painted in art class that depicts the school’s anniversary theme, “Past, Present and Future.” Later in the year, students will purchase 60 trees to be planted in national parks as part of St. Mary’s anniversary celebrations, McCluskey said.
The anniversary observances highlighted the accomplishments of St. Mary’s, which opened on Sept. 22, 1954 and boasts another priest alumnus: Msgr. Mark Olenowski, class of 1968 and pastor of St. Pius X Parish, Montville.
The school offers a high-school preparatory curriculum. As a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) school, St. Mary’s utilizes inquiry-based of education, specifically in math and science. The school has an interactive whiteboard in every classroom, a computer lab and two laptop carts available for individual class use and recently acquired a 3D printer that prints objects that students design. Also, students learn foreign languages using the Rosetta Stone Language Learning System, McCluskey said.
The school also offers a host of other activities, such student government, yearbook, choir, athletic programs, drama and liturgical and prayer services. St. Mary’s also lives out its faith, caring for the poor by conducting drives for food and hats and mittens, among other charitable activities, the principal said.