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St. Mary School in Wilmington Marks 140th Anniversary

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St. Mary Catholic School in Wilmington celebrated its 140th anniversary, Friday, January 15. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Mass for the 260 students, faculty, staff, parents and parishioners. Father Robert J. Kus, Pastor of St. Mary Church, and Father Marcos Leon, V.F., Cape Fear Dean, concelebrated the Mass.

St. Mary School is the oldest in the Diocese of Raleigh, providing quality education since 1869. The school offers a rich core curriculum including Language Arts, Literature, Science, Math, Social Studies and weekly Mass celebrations. It features additional classes in Physical Education, Spanish and Technology Instruction. Its Fine Arts program offers Art, Chorus, Band Creative Music and Suzuki Violin. Ninety-nine of the students, K-8 grade, study violin. Thirty-eight of the students, under the direction of instructor Lorraine Westermark, performed a sonata at the end of the anniversary Mass.

In addition to academics, the students are also introduced and take part in living out their Christian call in the community.

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge expressed gratitude for the almost century and a half of dedication and commitment made to the school by those who founded it and those who taught in it over the years to present day. He explained to the students the commitment their parents are making by enrolling them in St. Mary School.  He encouraged the students to remember two psalms in their daily prayers; “Speak Lord, your servant is listening,” and “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.”

Following the Mass, Bishop Burbidge told members of the media that one of his greatest joys as Bishop is to celebrate liturgy with young people, adding that anniversaries make it a truly special occasion.


Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge during homily at 140th anniversary celebration of St. Mary School in Wilmington. 

Below: Part of 38 Suzuki Violin students who performed a sonata following anniversary Mass.