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His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Leads Mass to Open Don Bosco Prep’s 101st Academic Year
Archbishop of New York also Blesses Site of New Multi-Purpose Facility as the School’s Centennial Celebration Continues
RAMSEY, N.J., Sept. 16, 2015 – More than 1,000 students, alumni and their families filled the gymnasium at Don Bosco Prep as Timothy Cardinal Dolan led the Mass of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross to inaugurate the school’s 101st academic year. Cardinal Dolan also dedicated the site where construction of a new facility is expected to begin in spring 2016 as part of a multi-phase renovation and expansion project.
Fr. James Heuser, director and president of Don Bosco Prep, invited the tenth Archbishop of New York to be the main celebrant and homilist in honor of the school’s Centennial. It was the first time Cardinal Dolan spoke at a Catholic high school in northern New Jersey.
“It is an honor to have His Eminence here as we express gratitude for all the good that has been accomplished during our first 100 years, and we are delighted by his strong encouragement as we begin our second century of service to young men,” said Heuser.
Prior to the mass, a group of students, faculty, and alumni gathered under an outdoor tent as Cardinal Dolan said a brief blessing. He then buried a two-sided medal featuring St. John “Don” Bosco and Mary Help of Christians in the ground adjacent to the site where the new mutli-purpose building will be erected. He was assisted by Bishop John O’Hara, an alumnus of Don Bosco Prep, who addressed the 2015 graduating class in May.
“The commitment to this expansion by your board, administration and alumni is a sign of their faith in the future,” said Dolan. “Don Bosco Prep is the flagship of Salesian high schools, and we are here not only to celebrate your past achievements, but the promise of wonderful new resources that will enhance your ability to educate students in the coming years.”
The school is in the midst of a $10 million Centennial Campaign fundraising initiative to finance the expansion and renovation of its facilities, as well as build upon its scholarship endowment. The planned improvements will enable the private Catholic high school to reduce class size, offer a more productive teaching and learning environment and continue to upgrade its classroom technology. Michael Graves Architecture & Design is developing plans for the construction of eight to sixteen additional classrooms, a prayer chapel, a new cafeteria and bookstore, an auxiliary gymnasium, locker rooms and office space. To date the campaign has raised $7.7 million.
The past year was also the bicentennial of the birth of St. John Bosco, who established the Society of St. Francis of Sales. The Salesians founded and continue to serve as administrators for the school, which offers rigorous academics at the AP, honors and college preparatory levels as well as broad offerings in extracurricular activities, clubs and athletics.
Don Bosco Prep’s year-long centennial celebration continues with a Centennial Family Day on September 26 featuring a carnival, food trucks and two back-to-back football games. The annual President’s Gala on November 5 will honor individuals and groups that have impacted the school over the past 100 years.
To learn more about upcoming events and the Centennial Campaign, please contact Carmela Raiti, vice president of Institutional Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Don Bosco Prep
Photo Caption: Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York (center), buries a medal during a ceremony at Don Bosco Prep dedicating the site where a new mutli-purpose building will be erected. He was joined by Bishop John O’Hara (right), an alumnus of the school, and Fr. James Heuser (left), director and president of Don Bosco Prep, as well as students, alumni and their families.