The Holy Cross choir prepares to sing for donors to the North Portland school.
Holy Cross School in North Portland thanked supporters with a dinner held at the University of Portland the day Pope Francis was elected. While guests dined on local vegetables and poultry cooked by the UP staff, the Holy Cross choir sang Cèsar Franck's "Panis Angelicus," with eighth grader Jordyn Mayer offering a solo on violin.
Father Mark Bachmeier, pastor of Holy Cross, told the crowd, "Our future is bright," referring both to the pope and the school, which now has a waiting list for kindergarten. Victoria Baird, kindergarten teacher, told listeners her work at Holy Cross has shown her the "true essence and beauty" of Catholic education. "Never do I tire of passing on the message of Jesus, 'Love one another as I have loved you,'" Baird said.
Nancy Nguyen, an eighth grader, gave her award-winning rendition of Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech to Congress on Dec. 8, 1941.
Marie Langlois, student body president, told the crowd she and other Holy Cross students have come a long way since the first day of kindergarten, when she hid behind her mother's legs. Beside academic, artistic, athletic and Christian service growth, a community formed.
"The people at Holy Cross care about me and I care about them," Langlois said. "That is something I love being a part of."
Mark Louie, a 1999 graduate of Holy Cross, now teaches at Lakeview High School. He credits his former teachers for giving him a heart to help others. "They wanted to help me in my success and my faith," Louie said. "Faith mixed with academics is the greatest thing you could have."
The annual fund drive for Holy Cross, led by Holy Names Sister Mary Ryan, has brought in more than $100,000.
Many UP professors and workers send their children to Holy Cross, which is less than a mile from the campus. The principal, Julie Johnson, is a UP alumna and attorney.