Bishop blesses new classrooms at Spencer Sacred Heart
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
SPENCER – Sacred Heart School recently expanded by adding two new classrooms.
Bishop Walker Nickless blessed the classrooms during a prayer service on Oct. 10.
Ron Olberding, principal at Sacred Heart School, welcomed the bishop and Dan Ryan, diocesan superintendent of schools.
“My dear friends let us pray this morning to the all knowing God, who is Lord, that all who enter here seeking instruction and right moral guidance may hear Christ their teacher in his Gospel and receive the inner instruction of the Holy Spirit,” prayed the bishop.
“I think the most important thing we can learn from this letter today is thanksgiving,” said Bishop Nickless. “St. Paul is reminding us to always be in a thankful attitude. You have so much to be thankful for here at Sacred Heart School in Spencer. How lucky you are to come here. It is so much of a privilege to be at a Catholic school, to be able to have such good teachers, pastor, principal and staff.”
He said the fifth and sixth grade should be thankful for their new classrooms and the students in kindergarten through fourth grade can look forward to using the classrooms in the future.
“It took a lot of work to do this. It is a wonderful thing for your school,” said the bishop. “It is another sign that you are growing and making a difference.”
Bishop Nickless sprinkled each classroom and the hallway with holy water.
“Today we inaugurate this work dedicated to education. Grant that those who will come here as teachers and students may always pursue the truth and learn to know you, the source of all truth,” said the bishop. “We dedicate this building to the education of youth, to the progress of sciences and to learning.”
“I am very excited as well,” he said. “This is a great event. It is a symbol that Spencer, Sacred Heart Parish and the school community are here to nurture Catholic education. You understand that as time goes by we have to continually look for new things to do and new ways to approach our Catholic education to make sure it stays strong.”
The new addition, Ryan said, is a symbol that Spencer is committed to Catholic education.
“Father, I want to commend you,” he said. “I am very impressed with this project. I remember when we first walked through the halls and talked about it and how quickly it has all come together. Mr. Olberding, you have done a great job here to keep the school moving in a positive direction.”
Ryan also recognized and thanked the parish finance council, parishioners and parents for their commitment to Catholic education.
“The old fifth and sixth grade rooms will become the music room and the other will be an art room,” he said. “We have never had an art room for our art teacher. She has always had art on a cart.”
When those rooms are not being used for art and music, they will be utilized as overflow rooms for larger classes so teachers can take half the class to another room. The special tutor, who has been using the convent, will also be able to use those rooms, said Olberding.
“We will have everybody back in the school,” he said. “Instead of kids sitting in the hallway because of space limitations, we will have the overflow rooms.”
Fundraising for the addition began in May and was completed in July. They received a bequest from a deceased parishioner that allowed building to start.
“Everything went well,” said the principal. “The parish was very supportive.”
Their plan is to move into the new rooms two weeks from now. The new classrooms, along with the third and fourth grade classrooms, have Smart Boards and the latest technology.
Olberding said it was good to invite the bishop and Ryan for the blessing “to promote the importance of Catholic education. We really appreciate having them come. They do an awesome job.”
Following the blessing, Bishop Nickless and Ryan joined the students for lunch.
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