St. Neumann 200th Celebration

We gather today to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Neumann, fourth bishop of Philadelphia.
As Catholic students and educators, we honor his legacy as an advocate of Catholic Schools in the United States more than 150 years ago.
Through his accomplishments, the rich heritage and tradition of quality Catholic education has been afforded to generations of children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Let us give thanks to the Lord for St. John Neumann and for the gift of our Catholic Education.
We gather today to ask St. John Neumann to intercede for us that the Church will be able to continue this important ministry in it's mission to prepare the youth of today for the challenges they will meet as adults.
We invite you to spend a few minutes in reflection to answer the question, "What blessings has Catholic Education brought into my life?"

Celebration of Prayer for Catholic Education
St. John the Baptist Church
March 28, 2011

Reflection on the life of St. John Neumann

Hearing his critics speak, one would have thought that nothing good could come from Philadelphia during the years that St. John Neumann served as bishop there.  But, just as it was mistakenly said that nothing good could come from Nazareth, so too was it the case of this saintly priest and bishop.

When the newly appointed Bishop John Neumann arrived in Philadelphia, he was dismayed to learn  that only about 500 children were attending Catholic schools in the entire diocese.  Dismayed but not defeated, within a week of his arrival, he met with the priests of the city and got them on board with his decision to place high priority on strengthening the existing schools and beginning new ones.  In less than a month, he established a Central Board of Catholic Education, made up of the pastor and two leading laymen of each parish.  Their first two duties were to devise a general plan for the instruction of the school children and to assist in fund-raising.

Wherever he traveled int he diocese, Bishop Neuman spoke of the importance of Catholic education, and exhorted pastors and laity to make whatever sacrifices were needed to obtain this blessing for the young people of every parish.  Within a year, the number of students in Catholic schools had increased ten-fold.  After two years, there were more than 9,000 students, and in a short time, the Diocese of Philadelphia was recognized as the model for Catholic education in America.  A century later, Pope Pius XII would say about Catholic education in America, "It was principally through the prodigious efforts of Bishop Neumann that a Catholic school system came into being and that parochial schools began to rise across the land."

SJBS Student Council President leads the prayer.

Prayer for the Welfare of the Catholic Schools
Heavenly Father,
in every age you watch over and guide us with loving care.
Saint John Neumann
was your instrument in building Catholic schools.
Through his prayers and ministry students have come to a deeper faith
in Jesus and his Church.
Pour forth your Holy Spirit,
inspire youth to serve you and others.
Renew Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Saint John Neumann,
Pray for us!

Ms. Rosanne McCarty, SJBS teacher and part-time historian, explaining the connection between St. John the Baptist Parish and St. John Neumann.  Ms. McCarty translated original historical parish documents from Latin into English to develop a presentation on St. John Neuman's visits to our parish for our students and parishioners.

Fr. Tony Ripp, MSC, Mary Bogle, Rosanne McCarty, Principal Vivian Zimmerman
Viewing a Parish Registry containing St. John Neumann's signature as Bishop of Philadelphia.

Signature and Relic of Bishop John N. Neuman- Bishop of Philadelphia.
"Vidi in Visitatione can. die 14 Feb. 1858."
Joan (Joannes) N. Neumann. Ep. Philad.

Small reliquary contains a relic (piece of hair) of St. John N. Neumann. (Loaned by Mary Bogle of Coopersburg, PA.  Mrs. Bogle is a descendant of Edward McCarthy/McCarty original settler in 1737.)

Rosanne McCarty, (descendant of Edward McCarty, earliest settler 1737), holds Registrum Baptismorum, Matrimoniorum ac Defunctorum, 1856-1844, St. John's Church, Haycock Run, PA.  In this book, Bishop John Neumann of Philadelphia signed 2 separate pages on 14 Feb. 1858 indicating his canonical visit.

Ms. McCarty (Spanish teacher), Mrs. Watson (7th grade teacher), Mrs. Harkins (6th grade teacher) and Miss. Walsh (3rd grade teacher) view Parish Registry of 1856-1884.

Mrs. Wilson (8th grade teacher), questions Ms. McCarty about St. John Neumann as Miss. Walsh looks on.

Stations of the Cross in St. John's Church in Haycock blessed by Bishop John N. Neumann on 14 Feb.1858. (Confirmed by Rev. Richard Boever C.Ss.R. Redemptorist Shrine.)  On the same day Bishop Neumann Confirmed 105 individuals in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Haycock and reconvalidated the marriage of Simon and Laura Heaney. Recorded by Rev. Henry Lipoosky, Pastor.

St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Haycock Run, PA- built in 1854-1855.  Bishop John N. Neumann wrote in his personal diary, "Cornerstone...blessed by me die 14 May 1854.  (Church) blessed by me die 19 Aug. 1855."