Spirit of Acadiana: Catholic Schools Week

St. Bernard School Prays and Processes
Posted at 6:37 PM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 08:19:46-05

It was the weekly Mass at a school in St. Martin Parish.
you had faculty plus students of all grades taking part, praying and singing, and celebrating Catholic Schools Week.

"In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," began celebrant Father Garrett McIntyre of St. Bernard Catholic School in Breaux Bridge.

"We're Catholic all the time, so it's not just one week we set aside," explains St. Bernard Principal J.P. Masterson. "But what we are doing is, we're highlighting the joy, what it means to be Catholic."

Father McIntyre's homily continued the lesson. "We give thanks to Jesus for the gift of Catholic education…"

But this celebration in the school gymnasium was only the beginning. The next stage was an all-student body procession, from the school to the church. McIntyre tells us 'processing' is a decidedly Catholic thing to do.

"A Eucharistic procession is uniquely Catholic," McIntyre goes on to say. "I say to people, 'It's one of those weird Catholic things' that nobody understands but Catholics. But it's uniquely Catholic, and so if we want to celebrate Catholic identity and Catholic Schools Week, well, let's do something that's uniquely Catholic."

When it was time to leave the Mass location, the rain had held off, for a moment. But with only yards to go, the skies opened.
But the St. Bernard family trudged on toward the church, and toward the next stage of worship.

This 'procession' thing? It's quite the hit with the students.

"I really enjoy it; it's a 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience," smiles 8th-grader Julia Hebert. "If you're not a Catholic, you don't get to experience this like we do, so it just means so much."

"(So what did this tell you? You came through the rain, you kept going, what did that tell you more about..?) 5th-grader Cole Theriot has an answer ready. "It told me sometimes we have to sacrifice certain things to learn more about God and Jesus."

"(What's it like processing in the rain?). Edith Simon, a third-grader in her first year at St. Bernard, was charmingly and spiritually honest.

"It was very hard (going through the rain), but we do have to sacrifice because it's nothing compared to what Jesus did."

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