Bishop Deeley Speaks to Students on Special Visit
to Holy Cross Catholic School in South Portland on March 31
March 31, 2014
SOUTH PORTLAND---“It was a great experience. It was so nice to see how interested he is in what we are doing and how caring he is about all of the students,” said Emme Poulin, an eighth grader at Holy Cross Catholic School.
In his third visit to a Maine Catholic school since his installation in February, Bishop Robert Deeley spoke in every classroom at Holy Cross Catholic School in South Portland during a morning visit on Monday, March 31 (pictures below). The bishop answered a variety of questions from the enthusiastic classes, ranging from when he decided to become a priest to which sports team is his favorite.
“The Red Sox,” answered Bishop Deeley, who was born and raised just outside of Boston. “They open up today. Fenway Park is one of the most wonderful places in the world.”
Many students were amazed to learn that one of Bishop Deeley’s fellow seminarians at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in the early 1970s was Monsignor Michael Henchal, pastor of St. John and Holy Cross Parish in South Portland.
“It was so cool to hear about how he was Monsignor Henchal’s classmate in Rome!” said Abby Joy, an eighth-grade student. “Bishop Deeley seems so friendly. It was very nice to meet him.”
Monsignor Henchal joined the bishop on his tour of the school and believes it was an impactful moment for the students.
“I think it gives them an opportunity to see the Church as a little bigger than just their own neighborhood,” said Monsignor Henchal. “They see that there are levels and levels of this Church, not just the local parish. It broadens their image of the Church. I think that’s very, very helpful.”
During his visit, Bishop Deeley took the opportunity to congratulate the students who were part of championship teams at the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament in Waterville on Saturday. The winning teams now advance to the World Finals at Iowa State University in late May.
The bishop was also presented with several gifts from the school community, including a Holy Cross sweatshirt to keep him warm in the current elements.
“I love Maine,” Bishop Deeley told the students. “If we could get these winter conditions to move on, it would be even better!”