9/14/2011 11:29:00 AM Portland - Holy Cross School
Holy Cross School photo by Julee Ryan
Fr. Mark Bachmeier with Gabriel Briare, Keytbelle Guiterrez Monroy, Emma Smith and James Nguyen.
The Holy Cross School class of 1935.
The school begins observing its centennial, which will include 100 good deeds done by students, displays, a May 19 gathering of alumni and friends, a new website and a special Mass. Theme of the centennial will be "Educating Hearts and Minds for 100 Years."
Holy Cross Parish, with church and school, has been like a light shining on the bluff over the Willamette River for a century, says the new pastor, Father Mark Bachmeier.
The priest will offer a scriptural theme for students this year. It's Matthew 5:16 — "Your light must shine before all so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to the heavenly father."
"We are still here on a hill where people can see us shine," says Father Bachmeier, who two years ago was honored by the National Catholic Educational Association for his support of Catholic schools.
Father Bachmeier grew up in Eugene in a family that could not afford Catholic education. He's committed to helping children have the chance to "not only learn about the faith but put the faith in action." But often as a pastor, he meets parents who want to send their children to Catholic school but can't afford it. For those who do come to the school, the pastor has great hope.
"I want them to leave their eighth grade graduation with a burning desire to love God with their whole heart, mind and soul," he says. "And that companion piece to love their neighbor. Imagine what kind of world it would be. If we don't have lofty goals like that, we settle for having them get a certain SAT score."