With Heads Held High…
IHM School Band celebrates its 25th anniversary this academic year. Some highlights have marked the event with unforgettable memories. The most exciting of these was marching down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Saint Patrick’s Day. This by far was the most impressive event the Band has participated in.
Boarding the bus early in the morning, the students arrived at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in the Bronx for Mass celebrated by Father Miara in the Tridentine Rite. This set the stage for the day. They then waited on 48th Street for the parade to reach their contingent.
It was a glorious day and the Band looked its best as it marched among some of the best bagpipers in the world. It was also the grand debut for the “color guards” who entertained the crowds with their gun routines.
This year also commemorated the 20th year of our participation in the Boston Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. There the Band led the parade followed by a float carrying Saint Patrick played this year by Oliver McMahon who waved blessings to the crowd as he stood surrounded by second graders dressed as shamrocks.
On Friday May 8, the Band celebrated its anniversary with a stupendous concert held in Nashoba High School auditorium. The enthusiastic audience enjoyed a program of 17 compositions from Sousa to Mozart. One of the exciting features was a special arrangement of the music score from the “Passion of the Christ.”
David Lasky, a widely acclaimed composer and performer from Saint Cecilia’s Church in Leominster, arranged this piece to commemorate the occasion. It was accompanied by a slide presentation with scenes from the movie. A DVD will soon be available…so the memories continue.
IHM is proud to have marched for 25 years in Our Lady’s honor and has now survived as the only Catholic school in Massachusetts with a marching band. Besides that, they may be the best Catholic High School marching band in all of New England for competition parades.
Over the years they have competed 45 times, placing first in 27, second in 12 and only 3 in third.
The band keeps alive the Catholic presence and discipline in 10 parades every year and several concerts and charitable benefits. The esprit de corps of the Band is centered on Saint Louis de Montfort’s spirituality and for that very reason they hope to continue to be “a light in the world” by doing it all for “Jesus through Mary.”
Diocesan Pro-Life Award
Saint John the Baptist Pro-Life League at Immaculate Heart of Mary School is now in its tenth year and its memberships boast of 32 students, grades 7 to 12. Much of its enthusiasm can be credited to the newly elected president, Kelly Bohane of Hudson, MA. Through her leadership she was able to organize enough events and support to cover the cost of the bus to D.C. for this year’s March for Life. That did not go unnoticed and on March 26, 2009, Kelly received special recognition from the Diocese of Worcester at the annual Pro-Life Mass for Catholic School students at Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
Bishop Robert McManus presented Kelly with the Ruth K. Pakulak Award for her outstanding service in the pro-life movement. Two parishioners and one priest also received awards. A large contingent of students and Sisters were given the first row pews for this well attended event, in which we felt so honored. This encouragement only increases the League’s desire to do more to stop abortion. Every time they are able, members stand at the clinic to say the rosary, our most powerful tool to end the killing.
Juarez: A Prayer Mission
One of our sisters, Sister Martina Marie, was born in El Paso, Texas, across the border from Juarez, Mexico. When news reached the convent this spring of the “war in Juarez” where innocent people are being killed by the drug lords, (2,000 last year alone), we decided to contact Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon of Juarez to offer our prayers.
One of the Sisters suggested a campaign of rosaries. To our surprise, at the same time the Bishop also was inspired to initiate a goal of 1,0000,000 rosaries to end the violence. So, starting March 25 and ending October 7, 2009, the rosary crusade is on. His Excellency enthusiastically accepted our help and referred us to the website he has to keep a count of the prayers said to reach the goal. (www.millonxcuidadjuarez.org)
After contacting Family Rosary Apostolate, who sent 5,000 rosaries to the diocese, we began our work at the Center. In every classroom, a bead is place in a jar to represent every rosary offered for Juarez, then Sister adds the tally with the diocese. Sisters are also encouraging students to donate extra rosaries or to buy one and put their name on it to send to the Bishop. So far our little endeavor has added 2,110 to the goal. Please join us in this effort, not only to end the violence in Juarez, but to show the power of the rosary.