The Schools Office of the Archdiocese of Newark formally welcomed its principals back to school for the 2019-2020 year at the Principals Administrative Conference (PAC) on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Administrators from Catholic schools across Bergen, Hudson, Union, and Essex Counties gathered for the event, which incorporates worship, prayer, and presentations, along with brunch and opportunities to interact with colleagues and Archdiocesan staff before the return of faculty and students. “We enjoy the opportunity to bring all of our leaders together in prayer and fellowship to embark upon a new school year,” said Associate Superintendent Barbara Dolan when asked about the significance of this Archdiocesan tradition.
To start the day, attendees and their Schools Office hosts gathered for a celebratory Mass. Rev. Timothy Graff presided over the liturgy at Our Lady of the Lake in Verona, where he serves as the Temporary Administrator. His thoughtfully prepared sermon offered insight, encouragement and appreciation for his audience of Catholic educators. Following Mass, Brother Patrick Winbush of the Benedictine Monks spoke briefly to invite high school principals to send interested students for a day of learning about religious life and the discernment of vocations at an upcoming event hosted by the Office of Vocations for Religious Life.
The conference continued with brunch at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, where participants enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with fellow principals and meet those recently hired. The group then settled in for presentations, including a welcome from Assoc. Superintendent Dolan and an engaging talk given by the Headmaster of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, Rev. Edwin D. Leahy, OSB.
Following a question and answer session with Fr. Edwin, Dr. Margaret Dames, Archdiocesan Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Schools gave her remarks to the group, detailing the various objectives that encompass her office’s vision for the coming year. She introduced new staff and apprised administrators of ongoing and forthcoming initiatives, before calling the business meeting into session. After the meeting, Associate Superintendent Sr. Marie Gagliano, MPF offered a closing prayer, marking the end of the conference.
September 3 marks the first day for Archdiocesan schools, and the Schools Office looks forward to celebrating the ongoing success of its students in the year ahead.