Hundreds of students from Catholic parish and regional elementary schools, Archdiocesan high schools, and schools of special education filled a portion of Cardinal O’Hara High School’s stadium on Sept. 20 as part of the official kick-off celebration for the 2023-2024 school year in the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez was joined by leadership from the Office of Catholic Education including Jay DeFruscio, Chief Operating Officer for Secondary Schools, Brooke C. Tesche, Ed.D., Superintendent of Secondary Schools and Schools of Special Education, and Andrew McLaughlin, Ed.D., Secretary for Elementary Education, to welcome students back to school.
O’Hara leadership was represented by Michael Connor, President, and Eileen Murphy, Principal. The event served as an official welcome for the more than 45,000 students attending the 102 parish and regional elementary schools, 15 high schools, and three schools of special education in the region.
>>PHOTO FEATURE: Archdiocesan Back-to-School Pep Rally 2023-2024
In speaking to the students Archbishop Pérez said, “You know, next to the public sector the Catholic Church does more for education of young people than any other institution in this area. Let that sink in for a moment — what the Catholic Church does for the common good, 15 high schools, 102 elementary schools, three schools of special education, about 2,500 teachers. Let’s give our teachers a shout out!”
He continued, “Jesus is here for you and he’s encountering all of our students, teachers, staff, and administrators across the Philadelphia area. Why does he do all of this? It is an expression of God’s love for you, of His care, for you and His dream, and His hope that you thrive with the gifts that He has given to you.”
Featured performances included the O’Hara Band and Cheerleading Team.
Following remarks, the event concluded with a mascot race with competitors hailing from Archdiocesan high schools. Cardinal O’Hara’s “Lion” took the crown by besting “The Patriot” from Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor (Delaware County).
Footage of the celebration is posted to the Archbishop’s Facebook page.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103