GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A week before students enter the buildings for a new school year, teachers and staff are greeted with the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids met for an annual kickoff at the start of school.
Over 500 chaplains, faculty and staff gathered at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew on downtown Sheldon Boulevard for a Mass presided over by Bishop David Walkowiak. Thirty-one Catholic schools, along with Aquinas College were represented.
This was the first time in several years that Back to School Mass has been held in person due to the pandemic.
“It is such a joyful experience that we are coming together again after three years of not gathering in this way,” said David Faber, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “The virtual years were – thank god we had those tools – but this is so much better. Our energy builds on each other and the joy we experience when we come together is unique.”
The diocese said enrollments have increased this year, as have staff numbers. Over 50 new teachers were hired and the number of vacancies was half that of the previous year.
“The Lord is blessing us with more and more students and more and more teachers, so we can share this mission with more families this year than in the past,” said Faber.
Students will officially return to Catholic schools in Grand Rapids on August 23.
https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/grand-rapids-catholic-teachers-gather-for-back-to-school-mass/ Catholic teachers in Grand Rapids gather for back-to-school mass