Students at St. Joseph School in Olney began the year in their new school building. On Sept. 30th, the church was full as students, teachers, parents, friends and parishioners gathered with pastor, Father Mark Stec for the blessing of the new school.
Principal Carol Potter, holding back tears, retraced the recent history of the new school. “We began the process of building our new facility about six years ago,” she said. “At the opening of this school year, I told the children we built this school for only two reasons and the two greatest commandments from Matthew and Luke’s Gospel: That people love God and that people love each other.”
Former pastor, Jerome Wirth, who died with cancer in 2013 before the school was completed, was dedicated to building the new facility. “His faith in us, his boundless energy and his love for God and others inspired us all,” Potter said.
Potter said in the weeks before his death, Father Wirth continued his constant attention to the children, visiting with them and teaching them by his example. A plaque was unveiled in honor of Father Wirth the evening of the blessing.
“I truly believe that we built this school because we know the future is in the hands of our children and we must teach them these important truths; we have this school so that the children can practice and learn and see how to love God and how to love each other,” Potter said.
And so the teachers, staff and principal of St. Joseph School remember Father Wirth and look to Father Stec to continue to call them to learn about their faith, to practice that faith and include others in the love they have for God as they increase their knowledge at their new school.