By Tony DeGol
Bishop Mark is reminding Catholic educators in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown that they have an obligation to tell their students the truth.
“The truth about themselves, the truth about God, and a fundamental truth that would solve most of the world’s problems – that you and I and every single person in this world are made in the image and likeness of God,” he explained to teachers and principals who gathered on September 16 for the annual in-service sponsored by the diocese’s Education Office.
“I hope that all of you do your best to teach our young people that important truth and model it by your behavior,” the Bishop added.
The vocation of a Catholic school educator is a joyful one, but it comes with challenges.
Jesus lays out the best lesson plan, the Bishop noted.
“His style of teaching is nothing less than inviting everyone one to encounter Him – the one who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” he said. “Thank you, and thanks be to God for you, for sharing that Good News with our young people as you live your vocation as teachers and administrators in our schools.”
After celebrating Mass for the educators, Bishop Mark recognized teachers marking milestone years of service in Catholic education. He greeted those with five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 45 years of service, and he presented them with a gift on behalf of the Education Office.
As part of the in-service, three priests — the Very Reverend Alan Thomas, VG, the Very Reverend Mark Begly, VF, and Father Timothy Harris, TOR — presented their reflections on the transformative power of the Eucharist. The priests shared their talks during a speaker workshop sponsored by the diocese the following day, which was organized by diocesan Evangelization coordinator Sister Linda LaMagna, CCW. By sharing the speeches a day early with the educators, teachers were challenged to inspire their students as the Church observes a three year Eucharistic Revival.
The following are photos of the 25, 30, 35, and 45 year honorees, pictured with (left to right) the Very Reverend Mark Begly, VF; Father Timothy Harris, TOR; the Very Reverend Alan Thomas, VG; Sister Linda LaMagna, CCW; and Diocesan Director of Education Jo-Ann Semko:
45 Years — Marian Cyburt, Divine Mercy Catholic Academy in Johnstown.
35 Years — (left to right) Michelle Fleming, Saint Nicholas Catholic School in Nicktown; Cathy Damiano, Holy Trinity Catholic School in Altoona/Hollidaysburg; Pamela DiRenzo, Divine Mercy Catholic Academy in Johnstown; Vicki McCort, Holy Trinity Catholic School in Altoona/Hollidaysburg; and Dorothy Kenner, Holy Trinity Catholic School in Altoona/Hollidaysburg.
30 Years — Melissa Monoski, Lock Haven Catholic School.
25 Years — (left to right) Gina Meintel, Holy Trinity Catholic School in Altoona/Hollidaysburg; Debbi Miller, Saint John the Evangelist School in Bellefonte; Susan Stevens, Saint Michael School in Loretto; and Lori Holloway, Saint Peter School in Somerset.