By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
What happens when the heart of a community stops beating?
Residents in Marty – better known as Pearl Lake – are about to find out.
Friday afternoon, May 28, marked the end of the school year for Holy Cross School. It also marked the end of the school, after 116 years.
The parochial school that calls itself “Small in size, Big in spirit” is now permanently closed after an April 6 decree by Bishop Donald Kettler of the Diocese of St. Cloud. The decree, written into Canon law, was done in a way that gives parishioners and friends of the school no option but to accept it and move on. (See https://tricountynews.com/2021/06/03/diocese-abruptly-closes-holy-cross-school/ for that story.)
Friday’s end-of-year celebration was bittersweet for the older students, for teachers, and for friends and neighbors as well. Yes, everyone made it to the end of another tumultuous school year. At the same time, this would be the last school year for Holy Cross.
Julene Faber-Andrusick teaches music and phy ed at Holy Cross. She took on the task of leading the ceremony Friday, leading students in song and prayers. “We honor our school” was repeated by students many times throughout the little program.
“It is a time for all of us to remember, and cherish the memory, and look forward to new schools, new friends, and new beginnings,” she read.
“We come to the end, and voice our gratitude for the good things You have done in us. And we praise You for all who have shared in the work of this school.” was one of the prayers read.
“We are thankful for all the teachers, parents, priests, and staff who worked at Holy Cross School to make Holy Cross School a safe, happy, nurturing place in which to learn. God, our Father, we are grateful for the generations of children who have entered these school doors. You know how much you are loved and cared for by us all.”
Students sang the refrain, “We are God’s children, the flock of the Lord,” as each student took a turn sprinkling holy water onto the stone front wall of the school.
“Lord, bless each of these children who stand before You today, ready to begin the next stage of their life journey. We give thanks to the years they have spent at Holy Cross School, and for the many gifts they shared with us. As they go forth from here, may they continue to live lives that speak of God’s love for them and for all people. For 116 years, Holy Cross School became center of Christ’s teaching. So, God our Father, after we close this school, we know You are always with us. We know that each of us here in this school is connected to Your love. Be with us as we journey together in life ….”
To close out the program, each student was given a brightly colored balloon which they released in unison into the heavens … along with their hopes and dreams for the future, a future without Holy Cross School.
See related story at https://tricountynews.com/2021/06/03/diocese-abruptly-closes-holy-cross-school/.