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Bishop celebrates Mass at two diocesan high schools


The Mass of the Holy Spirit has a long tradition. Catholic colleges, universities, high schools and grade schools often mark the beginning of the school year with the Mass. Its roots date back to the 1500s and are part of the Jesuit tradition.

During Mass the Holy Spirit is invoked to assist students and educators.

In early September, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrated this special Mass at both Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh and, later, at Saint Pope John Paul II High School in Greenville.

In his homily at Gibbons on Sept. 1, Bishop Burbidge spoke about what an exciting time it is to be part of the Church. He noted World Youth Day, which recently took place in Krakow, Poland, and the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, where the baccalaureate Mass for the CGHS class of 2018 will be held.

He also spoke about the great love God has for people. And he expressed hope that students will demonstrate their love for God.

“I am asking that all of us here make a commitment never to use God’s name in the context of profanity; nor even use it as part of phrases, even habitual ones that are frequently and casually spoken, that have nothing to do with prayer or giving honor to God,” Bishop Burbidge said. “May we hold each other accountable so that the Holy Name of Jesus will always be honored, revered and praised.”

While on campus, Bishop Burbidge visited classrooms and blessed new athletic facilities, including tennis courts.

When Bishop Burbidge visited St. Pope John Paul II on Sept. 7, he celebrated Mass for the largest student body in the school’s six-year history. Now accredited by AdvancED, the high school has an enrollment of 60 students, including eight seniors and 18 freshmen.

St. Pope John Paul II High School, which will graduate its fourth class in 2017, added more electives and Advanced Placement classes. School leaders are preparing for the possibility of offering baseball this spring. 

Read Bishop Burbidge's homily